Central European and Balkan countries united in common approach against illegal migration

  • Tomáš Hošek
  • 28.6.2017 09:19

On Monday 19 June, Defence Ministers of the Central European Defence Cooperation (CEDC) countries signed a declaration concerning common approach in the fight against illegal migration during a meeting in Prague. The proposal emphasises protection of the EU's external borders via all necessary civil, police, and military capacities, as well as tackling root causes of migration in the countries of origin. At the same time, the CEDC members (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Slovenia, and Croatia) expressed their confidence in the EU finding an inspiration in their joint coordinating mechanism and possibly implementing it Europe-wide.

The CEDC platform has gained prominence especially during the last two years as a result of the migration crisis and efforts to close the so-called Balkan route. The route is still used nowadays, with a report by the German Friedrich Ebert Stiftung think-tank pointing out that the main route for migrants crossing Turkey is being gradually diverted from the Western Balkans to the Turkish border with Bulgaria. During the Prague conference, Austrian Defence Minister Hans Peter Doskozil also mentioned an Austrian action plan examining the possibility of using CEDC security capabilities to secure the member countries’ external borders, with a joint drill in the next few months being a part of the action plan. With regards to tackling migration, it is thus expected that the opposition to the majority of Western Europe will not be represented solely by members of the V4 group, but also by the CEDC platform, comprising of a wider scope of countries.

About author: Tomáš Hošek


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