Božinović: EU Understands Comprehensive Approach Needed for Migrant Routes

By 9 October 2019

ZAGREB, October 9, 2019 - Croatian Interior Minister Davor Božinović said on Tuesday there was understanding among EU member states that a comprehensive approach was needed for all three migrant routes - eastern, central and western Mediterranean.

EU interior ministers met in Luxembourg today to discuss migration and a temporary mechanism for rescuing migrants at sea, on the central Mediterranean route, that was agreed by Germany, France, Italy and Malta on September 23.

The agreement does not envisage quotas and member states would take in migrants rescued at sea on a voluntary basis. EU president Finland would like the mechanism to expand to 20 countries.

There have been countries, including Croatia, that have been pointing to the importance of the eastern Mediterranean route from the start as it is used by the largest number of migrants, Božinović said, adding that after Greece and Cyprus, Croatia was the next member state "suffering the biggest pressure."

"Over the past two years we have manage to communicate that the route across Croatia is potentially the one by which the largest number of migrants may come. We see it every day and I'm sure this message has become clear to everyone," Božinović said when asked if Croatia would join the agreement signed in Malta.

One of the more important priorities of the next European Commission will be to find a solution to all migrant routes, which are not identical, but it all boils down to the same thing, he said, "which is how to protect the EU's external borders and how to prepare all institutions and all states for circumstances which will make Europe increasingly prepared for a possible new wave, because it's clear to everyone that the years 2015 and 2016 must not happen again."

"Something has to be done on all migration routes. All countries must get involved, both those which are EU member states and those which are not, because the challenge is the same for all," Božinović said.

More news about migrant crisis can be found in the Politics section.