EU interior, justice minsters discuss terrorism, migration

BRUSSELS, March 10 (KUNA) — EU interior and justice ministers began here Thursday a two-day meeting focused on the migrations crisis and the fight against terrorism. UK Secretary of State for the Home Department and Minister for Women and Equalities Theresa May told reporters that the meeting will discuss “two very important issues; how we deal with the threat of terrorism and how we tackle the migration crisis.” “On terrorism we have made great strides on sharing information but there is more to do and today I am going to be pressing alongside France more data sharing and other practical measures such as restriction on firearms to keep people safe from the terrorist threat including Daesh,” she said adding that ” Daesh poses a severe threat. The threat to the UK is severe.” “Daesh” is the Arabic acronym for the so-called Islamic State group (IS).
On migration, she said the EU-Turkey deal of Monday shows that Europe is now facing up to unprecedented movement of people, taking tough action against illegal migrants.
“But more has to be done to break that link from getting on to a boat and achieving settlement in Europe,” stressed May. On his part, EU Commissioner in charge of Migration and Home Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos said the focus today “is what we can do altogether to face the humanitarian crisis that risks to turn into a humanitarian disaster.” “If we really want to give an end to stop the deadly and illegal back door (migrations) we have to open safe and regular window. Otherwise we shall see the migrants and smugglers trying to find new routes,” he said.
He added that the ministers are also going to discuss security issues including the new regulation on counter-terrorism and control of fire arms .
Klaas Dijkhoff, Dutch State Secretary of Security and Justice and Minister for Migration, whose country holds the current EU Presidency said “today is not a day for big news.” He said it is a positive sign that the deal with Turkey is on the table. “I think it is a big chance and big opportunity for Europe. I think we should work till the next summit to find clarity what is agreeable,” he added.
Austria’s interior minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner reiterated her position that the Balkan route remains closed for the migrants She was critical about the EU-Turkey deal on migrations saying that after taking over the Zaman newspaper last week the Turkish state confronts the EU with a wish list and also wants to be rewarded with a visa liberalization for Turkish citizens.
“We have to ask if we are not throwing our values overboard,” she added. (end) nk.rk