Photo: Anders Aalbu/@NorwayEU.Photo: Anders Aalbu/@NorwayEU

Prime Minister Solberg discussed migration with EU leaders

Last updated: 04.03.2016 // The flow of refugees and migrants to Europe was on top of the agenda in Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s political talks in Brussels on March 2, 2016.

In meetings with the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, the commissioners Dimitris Avramopoulos and Johannes Hahn, and the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, Ms Solberg emphasized Norway’s support to a broad and common European approach to meet the serious challenges caused by the record high number of migrants and refugees to Europe.

EU initiatives include strengthened external Schengen-border controls, better identification and registration of those arriving, better burden sharing between European countries, and also measures in countries of transit and residence outside the EU.

Norwegian support to EU initiatives

‘Together with our European partners, Norway will do its part to find sustainable solutions to the migration challenges. We have to restore a system based on solidarity and cooperation in Europe,’ said Ms Solberg after her meeting with President Juncker.

Watch the video from the press conference here.

Ms Solberg referred to Norway’s offer to relocate 1500 persons over a two year period as part of the EU relocation scheme. She also referred to the offer of resettling 3000 Syrian refugees (under the quota programme) from Syria’s neighboring countries, including Turkey.

Norway’s contribution to the Triton operation in the Meditteranean is being prolonged by six months. The Norwegian civilian vessel Siem Pilot has so far contributed to the rescue of more than 12 000 migrants at sea during the Triton operation.

Juncker praised Norway’s initiative and contribution to the international donor conference for Syria in London in February 2016. In total USD 11 billion was pledged from the international community during the conference. Norway has declared to provide NOK 10 billion to assistance for internally displaced Syrians.

EUs top leaders are again meeting in Brussels on 7 March to discuss solutions to the migration challenges facing Europe, including with key partner Turkey.

During her visit to Brussels, Ms Solberg also emphasized the important and good relationship between Norway and the EU in other areas: Climate change and energy security, developing the single market, and international security being among topics in meeting with EU leaders.

Cooperation with Belgium on prevention of radicalization

Prime Minister Solberg also met with her Belgian counterpart, Prime Minister Charles Michel. The two prime ministers discussed the way forward for the EU, migration challenges and security policy. They also discussed common challenges related to radicalization and extremism. Prime Minister Michel explained what measures Belgium has taken to fight terrorism and radicalisation following recent terrorist attacks. Ms Solberg pointed out the importance of reaching out to younger at-risk-groups. During the meeting, Norway and Belgium agreed to strengthen the cooperation on prevention of radicalization and extremism.

The two Prime Ministers saying goodbye after the meeting.

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