BRUSSELS – The European Union welcomes the progress made in EU visa policy alignment by the Western Balkans partners and calls on them to swiftly take further steps, it is stated in a Council conclusion. “The European Union is ready to deepen cooperation on migration, asylum border management and returns with the region, maximizing the use of existing frameworks and available channels”, statement said.
The 27 agreed on more effectively controlling the EU’s external borders, strengthening EU policy on returns and readmissions, and working on the Pact on Migration and Asylum.
Migration was among the main topics discussed by European leaders at the summit.
In the final document, EU leaders confirm that they will step up actions to prevent irregular migration and loss of life, reduce pressure on EU borders and reception capacities, fight against smugglers and increase the return of migrants.
“This will be achieved by intensifying cooperation with countries of origin and transit through mutually beneficial partnerships. All migration routes should be covered,” the conclusions state. Implementing the existing action plans for the Western Balkan and Central Mediterranean routes is also emphasized.