443. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if immigration will be discussed at the June 2018 European Council meeting in view of events that have occurred in Hungary and Germany. [24563/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The next European Council will take place on 28 and 29 June 2018. Migration is on the agenda and the meeting will likely take stock of progress on foot of the Conclusions of the 19 October 2017 European Council where the twenty-eight heads of state agreed that the EU’s “comprehensive, pragmatic and resolute” migration strategy, which aims to restore control of external borders and to reduce arrivals and the number of deaths at sea, was bringing results and should be consolidated.
Measures to be taken included maintaining vigilance on all migratory routes and readiness to react to any new trends or developments, support for EU Member States directly affected or involved, strengthened cooperation with international partners, as well as countries of origin, transit and destination, adequate financing and an increase in effective returns, to reduce the incentives of irregular migration.
Further actions called for by the October 2017 European Council Conclusions include:
- Full cooperation with Turkey on migration, and the full implementation of the EU - Turkey Statement
- Enhanced returns and the further strengthening of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency
- Applying voluntary resettlement schemes
- Creating and applying the necessary leverage to achieve measurable results in terms of preventing illegal migration and returning irregular migrants.
The upcoming June European Council is expected to discuss the ongoing negotiations to reform the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). The October 2017 Conclusions specifically referenced the CEAS, stating that the European Council would seek to reach a consensus during the first half of 2018 and calling for further convergence towards an agreement which strikes the right balance between responsibility and solidarity and ensures resilience to future crises. At present I am not aware of plans to discuss the migration situation in either Germany or Hungary.