Bulgaria Is Successfully Guarding EU's External Border – Cameron
According to British Prime Minister David Cameron, Bulgaria should serve as an example of the successful guarding of the EU's external borders.
Cameron said this during the second day of his visit to Bulgaria, which started on Thursday with a meeting of his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borisov and Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev in Sofia.
On Friday, the two prime ministers traveled by helicopter to the Lesovo border checkpoint in order to inspect the fence constructed in order to prevent the illegal crossing of migrants.
The effective control of the external borders of the EU and the search for a long-term solution to the conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa continued to be among the main topics of discussion during their meeting on Friday.
During the inspection, they once again highlighted the need for solidarity and united action of all member states in halting the refugee wave and overcoming the crisis in Europe.
Borisov and Cameron commented that this could be achieved through solving the problems at their origin, supporting the efforts of Turkey on controlling the refugee flows and through effective application of readmission agreements concluded with key third countries.
Later they visited the regional directorate of border police in the town of Elhovo where Bulgaria's Deputy Interior Minister Filip Gunev presented to the British delegation the organisation on control of the border, the video surveillance system and other measures taken for halting, checking and registering of illegal migrants.
According to data of the Bulgarian interior ministry, a total of 29 308 illegal migrants have been detained in 2015 and 5150 were granted refugee status.
The guarding of the Bulgarian-Turkish border has been reinforced with an additional number of officers, including Frontex officials and specialised crews.
Cameron pointed that he is greatly impressed by the efficiency of the guard and commented that Bulgaria could serve as an example for compliance with the Schengen criteria.
According to him, it was important for Europe to have secure external borders and in the Bulgarian case it was visible that the prime minister and the government were truly engaged with this issue.
The British prime minister reminded that Bulgaria has both a maritime and land border with Turkey, which the country is managing to guard successfully.
In his words, there was need to continue supporting Bulgaria in the important tasks it was fulfilling.
Cameron said that European countries faced with the rising migrant flow should learn from Bulgaria in improving their external control.
Borisov highlighted that Bulgaria shows responsibility in fulfilling the commitments arising from its EU membership.
According to him, the measures taken by Bulgaria ensure the security of both Bulgarian and EU citizens.
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