EU states agree in Vilnius to jointly seek more funding for external border protection

State border at Rusnė

Eight EU member states, having an external EU land border, have backed Lithuania's initiative to seek more funding for border protection and the creation of a border surveillance standard during their meeting in Vilnius.

According to Lithuania's Ministry of the Interior, Lithuania's initiative received support from Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Norway, Romania, Slovakia, Finland and Hungary.

"We agreed to turn to the European Commission with one voice over the creation of common EU border surveillance standards, inform about arising risks linked to the implementation of the EU departure-arrival system, as we'll also seek better conditions for land border protection during negotiations on the EU border protection funding," Lithuania's Minister of the Interior Eimutis Misiūnas said in a statement.

Most importantly, agreement was reached on Lithuania's proposal to set minimal border protection requirements, the minister said. The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) will be in charged of the border surveillance standards.

The Frontex director also expressed support in Vilnius for the plan to create common border protection standards, the Lithuanian ministry said in the statement.

According to Misiūnas, common border protection standards would allow harmonizing the EU's external border protection in Schengen countries. Lithuania already monitors over a half of the EU's external border, using modern systems, the minister said.

The forum of nine countries having an external EU border was founded in 2013. Lithuania guards 1,070 km of the EU external border with Belarus and the Kaliningrad region.

Source: BNS
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