Minister of the Interior Mart Helme (EKRE) says that European Union member states are only starting to form mutual opinions about the European Commission's proposal for a new pact on migration and asylum.
"It is important to emphasize that these are the initial proposals that will be discussed by the member states. As the end result, we need a compromise solution that works for all the member states," Helme said, via a ministry press release. "Estonia is always ready to help financially countries which are under migratory pressure, or to send our technology and experts there," he added.
Helme said that a meeting between the EU ministers of the interior will take place on October 8 and that the matter will be discussed then.
"At the meeting, we will definitely repeat our position that we don't support mandatory relocation of asylum seekers. At the same time, there are several important elements in the proposal," Helme commented.
"Today, we know that many points we proposed are now written down in the bill package. For example, the aspect to manage better migration, the need for a strong border control to be ensured, to be able sending back illegal immigrants," he added.
On September 23 , the European Commission published a proposal for a new migration and asylum pact aimed at creating a European Union-wide framework for better migration management. The proposal consists of an action plan and 11 bills. Initiatives published by the Commission must be agreed between the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament.
Estonia recently declined to host any of the thousands of migrants displaced by the Moria camp fire on the Greek island of Lesbos, though it did offer to send aid and expertise.
Individuals staying at Estonia's two asylum seekers' residence centers, Vao, Lääne-Viru County, and Vägeva, Jõgeva County, number well under 100.
Editor: Roberta Vaino, Andrew Whyte