Rõivas in Brussels: European Council gives green light for the establishment of European Border and Coast Guard

18.12.2015 | 20:58

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Brussels, 18 December 2015 - Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas said in Brussels after the meeting of European Council that there is a common understanding between the member states that we need European Border and Coast Guard working on a uniform basis.

“The Council gave a political guideline to continue working with all the proposals submitted by David Cameron. It may be expected that the most complicated thing is to find a solution for the grants related to working, because we want to protect the principle of free movement of people,” said Rõivas.

Prime Minister said that the biggest consensus is on the proposals concerning the EU internal market reforms, but there are also issues which demand great dedication and creativeness from all the parties. “I am convinced that the Great Britain’s continued membership of the European Union is in the interests of all parties and thus we have a goal towards which to strive.”

Commenting on the establishment of European Border and Coast Guard, Rõivas said that there is a consensus between the member states that Europe needs border and coast guard working on a uniform basis. “At the same time, it is very clear that this does not mean replacing national border guards, first and foremost, we are talking about joint additional forces. The Council wants to reach an agreement on a joint border guard within six months,” said Rõivas.

Rõivas also noted that as regards the fight against terrorism, the most important steps within the last six months have been the creation of booking information system of the EU air passengers and improving information exchange between the countries to run necessary background checks. “In addition to the improvement of information exchange and strengthening European borders, the cooperation with North African, Middle East, West Balkan countries and Turkey is also of essential importance,” added Rõivas.

European Council also welcomed the historical climate agreement concluded in Paris to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius and plans to discuss soon the next steps in its implementation.

Shortly before the Council, Prime Minister also met with Maros Sefčovič, Vice President of the European Commission, in order to discuss the next steps in the field of European energy association and regional energy projects.

European Council conclusions will soon be published here: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/et/home/
Photos from Brussels: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ljx5aa61kwiv805/AADOPrf6YdgqUCcdlD5KEo4qa?dl=0

Government Communication Unit