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EU countries call for stronger borders to ease migration pressure

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EU countries call for stronger borders to ease migration pressure

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Interior ministers of European Union countries under pressure from unauthorized migration call for more action to strengthen and protect the bloc’s external borders

VILNIUS, Lithuania — Interior ministers of European Union countries under pressure from unauthorized migration called on Friday for more action to strengthen and protect the bloc’s external borders.

Ministers from countries including Greece, Poland, Italy, Austria and France, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency, took part in a border security conference in the Lithuanian capital with the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson.

“We have to protect our borders from aggression, and we have to protect our people,” Johansson told conference attendees.

To do this, she said, means preventing people fleeing poverty and conflict in their countries of origin from entering the migration routes.

“We cannot wait to have desperate migrants at our borders. We need to act sooner,” said Johansson, stressing that preventive actions must respect the rights of individuals to seek asylum.

Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski calls for amendments to European immigration laws. Poland and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have seen migrants attempt to enter the EU illegally from Belarus.

The EU has accused Belarus’ authoritarian president of encouraging the unusual activity in retaliation for sanctions imposed by the bloc. At least 12 people have died while trying to enter Europe.

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EU countries call for stronger borders to ease migration pressure

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