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Joint Communiqué of the Visegrad Group Ministers of Foreign Affairs

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Visegrad Group countries met with their counterparts from the Luxembourg Presidency and Germany on 11th September 2015 in order to discuss concrete measures within the external dimension of migration crisis.

In the context of an unprecedented migration crisis, Europe must stand the pressure and mustn’t be divided in this decisive moment on this particularly difficult task of managing migration. In this regard the V4 countries fully support mutually recognized common EU solution to the migration crisis and are ready to participate in EU activities by providing its expertise and financial, technical and logistical assistance.

The V4 Ministers of Foreign Affairs Ministers welcome that Commission in the new proposal will no longer focus solely on enforced mandatory relocation and gives more priority to the long term solution of unregulated migration. We continue to see relocation as a temporary emergency measure that doesn’t address the real causes of the crises.

The Ministers recall the Joint Statement of the V4 Prime Ministers adopted on 4th September 2015 and agreed to a need to pursue a coordinated European approach for a complex and sustainable solution to manage the crisis. Given their responsibilities, the V4 Ministers focused particularly on the external aspects of the issue as stated below.

Focus on the Western Balkan migration route: The V4 countries call for a more balanced distribution of EU financial support and reconfiguration of EU financial tools and a better functioning of border control measures in the Mediterranean region.

Stabilization of the European neighborhood: coping successfully with root causes of current migration problems is a long run process, which should be, inter alia, taken into account in the broader context of the EU relations with Africa, including the EU development policy. We should also address the issue of migration crisis in the framework of the ongoing revision of the European Neighborhood Policy. In a short run, we should rather focus on immediate consequences of the problems stemming from the region. Significant attention must also be paid to the Libyan political dialogue. The EU should actively contribute to the international efforts in resolving the ongoing crisis in Syria and Iraq in accordance with the adopted regional strategy. The V4 countries call for transfer of the EUNAVFOR MED operation into next phase without any further delays. They appeal to the UNSC to adopt a respective SC resolution on Libya which enables even more efficient activity of the EUNAVFOR MED operation including through disposing or rendering of the vessels and related assets of smugglers.

Fighting against human trafficking and smuggling: The EU must take a robust action against human traffickers and smugglers profiting from the human tragedy.

Development and humanitarian assistance to countries of origin and transit of migration: The V4 countries expressed readiness to participate in designing effective and integrated development cooperation strategies based on principles of policy coherence for development and on partnership with countries of origin and transit of migration. The V4 countries are also committed to increase efficiency and effectiveness of bilateral and EU assistance to particularly vulnerable groups in the conflict affected countries and regions.

International cooperation within the United Nations community and others: LAS member states are the ones that can effectively fight extremist groups and should be also helpful in (at least temporarily) accommodating refugees from the conflicts. The V4 countries support strengthening dialogue with the African Union on migration and mobility, including addressing its root causes and by ensuring an effective return policy is vital.

The Budapest Conference dedicated to the Western Balkan route and the Valletta Conference are the best foreseen opportunities for a reach-out behind the EU-borders and for involving partners from third countries with the aim to manage the migration crisis. The V4 countries will work on a common position before the Valletta Conference.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

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