Illustrative photo – After the meeting of the interior ministers of the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary on the migration situation, a press conference was held, November 24, 2022, Prague. Slovak Minister of the Interior Roman Mikulec.
Pezinok (Slovakia) – The most effective defense against illegal migration is the protection of the external borders of the Schengen area, representatives of the ministries of the interior of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia agreed at today's joint meeting. Slovak Minister Roman Mikulec told journalists. He admitted that in the event of a repeat wave of migration, border restrictions could again be introduced by mutual agreement. Czech Deputy Interior Minister Radek Kaňa said after the meeting that the Central European countries of the Visegrad Group (V4) want to act together on the issue of migration within the European Union.
A significant increase in the number of migrants on the so-called Western Balkan route from Serbia through Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic to Western Europe last fall resulted in the Czech Republic's decision to introduce border controls with Slovakia, which were abolished this year. At the time, Bratislava criticized Prague for the introduction of controls.
According to Mikulka, protection of the Schengen borders is the most effective solution in combating illegal migration, as there would then be no need to take extensive measures at the national level. “No one knows how it will develop. The wave may come again in the spring,” said Mikulec. He added that the situation of refugees from Syria and Afghanistan, who cannot now be returned from the EU to their homeland, also needs to be resolved.
Kaňa said that one of the priorities in solving illegal migration is the joint approach of the V4 countries towards the EU. According to him, cooperation with countries outside the European bloc is also important.
Hungarian Minister Sándor Pintér thanked the Czech Republic and Slovakia for sending police officers to Hungary to protect the Schengen border. In response, representatives of both countries expressed their states' willingness to continue helping Hungary.
Representatives of the ministries of interior of the V4 countries also discussed helping refugees from Ukraine who went to Central European countries after the Russian invasion. Kaňa thanked the residents of the V4 countries for helping Ukrainian refugees, according to him, 495,000 refugees received temporary protection in the Czech Republic.