EU, Western Balkan officials agree to protect borders

EU, Western Balkan officials agree to protect borders

Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis on Thursday underlined the importance of Greece’s borders being protected as the external frontiers of the European Union during a conference in Vienna on boosting the cooperation between EU and Western Balkan countries in tackling undocumented migration. 

Speaking after the conference, where ministers agreed to bolster borders and boost migrant returns, Mitarakis pointed to Turkey’s exploitation of refugees, which led to a crisis in March, noting that Greece responded to that challenge alone. He said the relocation of migrants should be addressed as a European problem, not a bilateral one between states.

Referring to the initiative on Twitter, European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas said its goals were: “Breaking the business model of smugglers, stepping up returns, reinforcing border management and asylum capacities.”

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