TALLINN - The interior ministers of the European Union discussed implementing common standards for the land border of the area of free movement, while Estonian Interior Minister Andres Anvelt said that a land border without common standards poses a risk to the entire area of free movement.
The implementation of common standards for the land border of the area of free movement was discussed at an informal meeting of EU interior ministers held in Sofia, Bulgaria, and this topic was also one of the initiatives of the Estonian EU presidency, the Estonian Interior Ministry said.
Anvelt said that Schengen's border rules ensure that border checks are conducted in the same manner everywhere, but there are no uniformly understood quality requirements for the Schengen land border itself. "If the border does not hold because a necessary infrastructure is lacking in some country and there is a lack of equipment in another, then this poses a risk to the entire area of free movement," he said.
"The implementation of common standards is necessary purely for the reason that the European Border and Coast Guard Agency had something on the basis of which to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the land border in May. Only then can we jointly strengthen our common border, when we know what exactly we want to achieve and what must be improved for that," Anvelt said.
The interior ministers also discussed migration topics in depth, including issues concerning the EU asylum policy. Bulgaria, the new EU presidency, will also continue work with proposals made during the Estonian EU presidency.