Ratas: EU must cooperate more with third countries to cut illegal migration

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) arriving at the informal meeting of EU heads of state and government in Salzburg, Austria on Wednesday evening. 19 September 2018. Source: Jürgen Randma/Government Office

During a discussion on migration at the informal meeting of EU heads of state and government in Salzburg on Wednesday evening, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) highlighted the need to increase cooperation with third countries.

The leaders of the member states of the EU discussed the latest developments regarding the management of illegal migration.

"Although the EU has shown results in dealing with the migration crisis and the number of illegal immigrants has dropped, work on improving the situation in the Mediterranean must continue," Ratas said. "We need closer cooperation with countries outside the EU, especially with African countries. We need to make better use of all our trade, visa and development policies.

According to the prime minister, it is also necessary to step up efforts to quickly return those people who do not have the right to receive international protection from the EU.

Ratas expressed hope that the European Commission's new initiative for an alliance between Africa and Europe will help find long-term solutions to migration issues. The aim of the initiative is to support African countries through jobs, skills and private investments.

European Council President Donald Tusk proposed holding an EU-Arab League summit in early 2019 to discuss cooperation on migration issues.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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