SCHENGEN MEETING : Sommaruga wants broad strategies against immigration

Swiss president Simonetta Sommaruga, called for thinking beyond the EU to stem illegal immigration at the Schengen Mixed Committee Meeting held in Brussels on Thursday. She also urged the use of broader measures to tackle terrorist travellers.


Among the measures she suggested at the meeting of EU justice and interior ministers included cooperating with non-EU countries along migration routes. She proposed that countries like Lebanon and Turkey should be supported in their efforts to limit illegal immigration.

Another measure put forward was to strengthen the Schengen border in areas that were most vulnerable to well-established migration routes.  However, at the same time Sommaruga emphasised the importance of helping migrants in distress. She referred to the Swiss cabinet’s recent decision to host 3000 Syrian refugees over a three-year period and called on other Schengen countries to show solidarity in welcoming refugees.

When it came to fighting the threat posed by terrorist travellers, the Swiss president shared progress made by Switzerland such as collaborating with internet service providers in the fight against jihadist propaganda and radicalisation on the internet. While stating the importance of exchange of information with Interpol, Europol and Eurojust, Sommaruga also wanted to promote more informal forums for police cooperation as part of a much broader approach.

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