Press release

The internal affairs section of the Justice and Home Affairs Council, organized by the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union, took place in Brussels, on the 3rd of March. Romania was represented at the meeting by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Lucian BODE.

The agenda included important topics such as the situation in Ukraine, the situation and political governance of the Schengen area and the progress made in the field of asylum and migration.

Regarding the situation in Ukraine, Minister Lucian Bode presented the measures taken by Romania regarding the control at the state border, the reception of asylum solicitors, respectively the management of emergency situations, humanitarian assistance and civil protection. „Until now, Romania has mobilized consistent material, financial and personnel resources for the management of the situation created on the border with Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. However, this effort cannot be sustained without seeking support through the European Commission’s financial and support mechanisms. For that purpose, in the next period we will send our substantiated requests to the European Commission „, declared the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Lucian BODE.

During the discussions, the Minister of Internal Affairs thanked Commissioner Johansson for her recent visit to Romania and thanked the Commission for developing and publishing guidelines for the responsible authorities in the Member States, in order to organize the efficient and coordinated flow of fugitives from war, with the necessary security measures.

Speaking at the informal session with the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, Mr. Denys Monastyrsky, the Romanian dignitary transmitted to his Ukrainian counterpart that all citizens of Ukraine who fled from the war and chose to stay in Romania will benefit from the full support of Romanian state institutions and of Romanian people. At the same time, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Lucian BODE, assured the Ukrainian counterpart regarding the operationalization in the next period in the northern part of Romania of the logistic hub for the distribution of humanitarian assistance provided by European partners wishing to contribute for humanitarian aid.

Since Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, more than 650,000 people have fled to neighboring EU member states. In a spirit of solidarity with the Ukrainian people, the Interior Ministers today unanimously agreed with the Decision triggering the implementation of the mechanism provided for in the Temporary Protection Directive of 2001. This mechanism was developed in order to effectively manage individual procedures. It has been agreed to grant temporary protection status to Ukrainian citizens who request it and, in addition, third-country nationals who have resided in the territory of Ukraine and who cannot be repatriated safely and sustainably may also benefit from temporary protection or another appropriate statute provided for them by the national laws. Temporary protection status implies, among other things, access to education, medical care, the right to work, etc.

Regarding the situation and political governance of the Schengen area, the Minister of the Internal Affairs reiterated his support for concluding negotiations on the legislative proposals under debate, in order to adapt EU practices and legal framework to current challenges as soon as possible.  We maintain our goal of joining the Schengen area, therefore we want more predictability to complete this process as soon as possible. Romania fully implements the Schengen acquis and contributes constantly and actively to the efforts to strengthen the security of the European Union, but without the related benefits.

Last but not least, during the debates on asylum and migration, the Romanian Minister stressed upon the need to make progress on the Pact on Migration and Asylum, in order to establish a functioning system that responds effectively to current challenges.

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