site.btaInterior Minister: Bulgaria Continues to Responsibly Protect EU External Borders

Interior Minister: Bulgaria Continues to Responsibly Protect EU External Borders
Interior Minister: Bulgaria Continues to Responsibly Protect EU External Borders
Bulgarian Interior Minister Kalin Stoyanov (middle) at a meeting of EU's Justice and Home Affairs Council in Luxembourg, June 13, 2024 (BTA Photo)

At a meeting of EU's Justice and Home Affairs Council in Luxembourg, Interior Minister Kalin Stoyanov stressed that Bulgaria continues to contribute responsibly to Schengen security, his Ministry's press centre said on Thursday. The country secures the area’s external borders and prevents secondary movements, he added.

In support of this statement, he highlighted some of the trends observed after the lifting of controls at air and sea borders since March 31 - a sustained reduction in migration pressure and an increase in returns. He attributed those results to both the measures taken at national level and the cooperation with the European Commission, the European agencies and Turkiye.

Stoyanov underlined that "thanks to the European funding, granted by the EC, we have managed to significantly strengthen the technical and human capacity for border protection, the number of Frontex officers on the Bulgarian-Turkish border has tripled, and the deployment of officers on the Bulgarian-Serbian border has increased.” Since the beginning of April this year, an Austrian document security advisor has been working together with Bulgarian officers at Sofia Airport, and since May Bulgaria’s actions have been supported by a German representative,” the Minister pointed out.

“We have strengthened operational cooperation through intensive information exchange to further counter organized criminal networks smuggling migrants," he added. The Bulgarian Interior Minister assured the participants in the format that the country will continue to fully implement the Schengen acquis and expressed hope that controls at land borders will be lifted soon.

Stoyanov reiterated Bulgaria's support for the common implementation plan for the Migration and Asylum Pact presented by the European Commission. He defined it as an important step that will drive the process of preparation for the implementation of the new legislation by the Member States.

The Minister drew attention to the need for the efforts of the Member States in preparing for the implementation of the Pact to be supported with adequate European funding. "This is particularly true for the countries at the external border, which bear the main responsibility for successful capacity building - in the area of screening, implementation of border procedures and monitoring of respect for fundamental rights."

/RY/

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By 03:00 on 20.07.2024 Today`s news

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