18 August 2021
Minister James Browne, TD represented Ireland at the roundtable of EU Home Affairs Ministers called under the Integrated Political Crisis Response framework and held in virtual format on 18th August 2021 to discuss the ongoing situation in relation to the irregular flow of migration into Lithuania, Latvia and Poland.
At the roundtable, a detailed discussion took place on the current state of play in the affected Member States and Ministers agreed a joint statement. Speaking on the exchange of views, the Minister said:
“Ireland shares the concerns of all Member States regarding irregular migrants on Belarus’ borders with our EU partners and in particular the pressure being put on the Lithuanian system. It was positive to hear of the unanimous agreement that a coordinated approach from all Member States and EU institutions is necessary to provide an effective response.
This solidarity, reflected in the agreed statement, is important to ensure the continued safety and security of our citizens by protecting the integrity of the external borders of the EU.”
At the meeting, Ministers also discussed the urgent situation in Afghanistan which was the subject of discussion at an emergency meeting of EU Foreign Ministers on 17th August. Speaking after the meeting, the Minister said:
“I echo the concerns expressed by Minister Coveney this week on the safety of women, girls and minorities in Afghanistan and indeed every person caught up in the situation. This is a sentiment that was shared at today’s roundtable of Home Affairs Ministers and it was clear that there is a sense of urgency for the EU to take all appropriate steps to provide assistance where it can.
As announced earlier this week, Ireland will play its part in providing an initial 150 places for Afghan nationals and their families under the Refugee Protection Programme, as well as prioritising applications for family reunification from Afghan nationals living in Ireland. Work is ongoing in this regard between the Departments of Justice, Foreign Affairs and DECIDIY.”
The Presidency Statement on the situation at the EU’s external borders with Belarus is available at the following link: https://slovenian-presidency.consilium.europa.eu/en/news/home-affairs-ministers-express-solidarity-with-the-eu-member-states-at-the-border-with-belarus/