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Sobotka calls for joint protection system of EU’s external border

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Prague, Aug 24 (CTK) – Europe should have a joint system of its external border guarding and all member states should participate in the protection of the Schengen border, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka told reporters after a meeting with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius Monday.

The Czech Republic will open these issues at European meetings, he added.

Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) said he and Fabius agreed that Italy and Greece “do not fully manage to control” the situation.

The possibility of a joint guarding is one of the ways that the EU might follow, he added.

The Frontex European agency deals with the external border protection. However, its budget is limited. The EU debated the necessity to raise the agency’s funding.

In the spring, the Czech Republic offered some 60 experts and ten million crowns for this purpose.

President Milos Zeman and the heads of the lower and upper house of Czech parliament, Jan Hamacek and Milan Stech (both Social Democrats, CSSD), recently agreed that the European external border must be protected.

Sobotka is of the view that only the termination of the war in Syria will halt or slow down the migration influx into Europe.

Every other refugee from the Middle East entering Central Europe through the Balkans comes from Syria, he noted.

He also said the EU must be extended to include the Western Balkans.

“Exactly the integration of the Western Balkan countries may stabilise this region and increase its ability to face such problems as those connected with the migration crisis Monday,” Sobotka said.

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