Together with Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas and Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson, who joined the conference by video link, German Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer presented plans for further negotiations on European migration policy.

The Commission’s reform proposals for Europe’s asylum policy

Following the talks in Berlin, German Interior Minister Seehofer said that reforming European asylum policy was one of the most important issues in Europe, and for Germany’s Council Presidency. He described the Commission’s recently presented reform proposal as good and comprehensive, saying it took into account all the areas that EU member states deal with in their daily work on asylum.

He said that these areas included closer cooperation with countries of origin to improve conditions for the people in those countries and that the Commission’s migration and asylum package also provided for improved protection of Europe’s external borders through pre-screening asylum applicants. He added that it was also important for member states to show solidarity with one another in admitting migrants. “I am pleased that many member states have avoided knee-jerk reactions and are instead examining the proposal very closely,” Interior Minister Seehofer explained.

Additional meeting of EU home affairs ministers in November

Interior Minister Seehofer announced that he intended to call an additional meeting of EU home affairs ministers. After the home affairs meeting planned for early October as a video conference, an in-person meeting is to be held in Brussels in November. The minister stressed that during its Council Presidency, Germany would do all it could to reach a political consensus on the cornerstones of reform for European asylum policy.

“I am aware that this is a gigantic task,” he said, adding that in politics it was important to take on such challenges and to do all one could to overcome them.