27 May 2010
Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström attended a conference in Warsaw on Tuesday, at the fifth anniversary of the foundation of Frontex. Discussions were focused on border control and on the role of fundamental rights in the area of border management. Cecilia Malmström then continued to Kazan, where she discussed visa issues and the fight against organised crime with her Russian colleagues yesterday, during a partnership meeting between the EU and Russia.
"The very reason we are here today is our shared objective of abolishing internal border controls between the Member States. The so called Schengen area covers 25 countries by now and by the time my mandate as Commissioner expires we will perhaps have reached 30 countries", said Cecilia Malmström in her speech at the conference 'European Day for Border Guards' in Warsaw.
She continued: "We have come this far thanks to mutual trust, solidarity and a true European approach. But it would not be credible to say that all the right tools and all the right laws are now in place, once and for all. The EU needs to commit to continuous improvements and be ready to adapt to new challenges and an ever changing reality."
In Kazan, Cecilia Malmström met with the Russian minister for Justice Alexander Konovalov.
"We have had good and constructive discussions, but we don't agree on everything. Russia is eager to reach visa facilitation agreements with the EU, while we on the EU side believe that there are some remaining issues that needs attention before that is possible. We also discussed police cooperation and increased collaboration in combating drugs, trafficking and corruption. I raised the issues of human rights, respect for the rule of law and data protection, where Russia needs to make more effort to live up to international and EU standards", said Cecilia Malmström.
Read Cecilia Malmström's speech in full below.