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Prime minister discusses illegal migration with EU colleagues

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas talking to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Brussels, October 2018.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas talking to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Brussels, October 2018. Source: Reuters/Scanpix

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) was at a European Council meeting in Brussels on Thursday, among other things to discuss ways to stop illegal immigration into the European Union.

According to the government, it is one of the European Council's priorities to continue the prevention of illegal migration and strengthen cooperation between the EU and Africa as well.

'Even though migration statistics show that the European Union has made progress in reducing illegal migration, further developments on all migration routes need to be observed,' Ratas said, adding that the union's relations with Africa are becoming increasingly more important.

Members of the European Union and the Arab League will also discuss how to increase cooperation at their first summit in Egypt set for 24 and 25 February next year, the government said in a press release.

Ratas: More coordination needed regarding EU's external border

"The external border of the European Union has to be controlled. It requires the newest and best security measures and uniform requirements in terms of border surveillance," Ratas commented. In addition to ensuring a secure external border, security in the digital environment needs to be guaranteed as well, he added.

One of the aims of Estonia's presidency of the Council of the EU in 2017 had been to develop a uniform framework to prevent and respond to cyber attacks. "Combatting crime in cyber space is as important as combatting it in the streets. I'm glad that the European Union is concentrating increasingly more on developing the capability to respond to cyber attacks. It is also important to quickly have sanctions at the ready to respond to cyber attacks,' the prime minister said.

The topic of the Euro Summit this week is the state of the negotiations to deepen the European Economic and Monetary Union. Heads of EU member states and governments will discuss the next steps towards a reform again in December.

Ratas to meet with Asian government representatives

After the European Council meeting, heads of Asian and European states will convene in Brussels on Thursday and Friday to discuss options to revitalise the economy through better connectivity, creating jobs, promoting investment and ensuring secure digital cooperation.

Europe's wider objective is also to preserve the environment, stop climate change and reaffirm its commitment to international law, predetermined rules and fundamental values, the press release said.

In addition, leaders of Europe and Asia will discuss world security, including the fight against terrorism, cyber security and the management of migration flows.

Ratas is scheduled to meet with representatives of several Asian governments on the side of the meetings as well.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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