In order to ensure the highest quality of our services, we use small files called cookies. When using our website, the cookie files are downloaded onto your device. You can change the settings of your browser at any time. In addition, your use of our website is tantamount to your consent to the processing of your personal data provided by electronic means.

Multilateral cooperation

Salzburg Forum

The Salzburg Forum is an informal initiative which brings together interior ministers of the Central European countries. The Salzburg Forum was founded at the initiative of Austria. Cooperation within the Salzburg Forum begun with the signing of a Partnership Declaration on Security Cooperation – the Salzburg Declaration – by the interior ministers of Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Hungary, and by the EU Commissioner for Security and Internal Affairs in July 2001. 

The Salzburg Declaration was an expression of political will as regards creating a Common Europe based on a new concept of security and justice for all European citizens, as well as prioritising the entire region of Central Europe. The signatories considered the following areas of cooperation to be the most important:

  • police cooperation
  • cooperation in the area of border control
  • fighting against illegal immigration
  • asylum policy 
  • experience exchange on EU-related matters. 

The focus of the Salzburg Forum meetings is to hold an open and constructive dialogue between the member states of the Salzburg Forum, with the participation of the EU Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs, on matters relating to ensuring a high standard of security in the region. The Pleven Meeting in 2007 established the Group of Friends of Salzburg Forum, to which Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Serbia) and Moldova were invited.

Salzburg Forum Ministerial Meetings are organised bi-annually by Salzburg Forum Member States, with each holding a 6-month presidency. As of 1 July 2020 Croatia, assumed the presidency in the Salzburg Forum. Poland is scheduled to take over the presidency in the first half of 2022. 

The G6

The G6, functioning since 2003, was established for the purposes of informal initiatives in respect to internal security and thus brings together respective Ministers of the Interior of the most populous EU Member States: the UK, France, Italy, Spain and Poland (from March 2006). Taking into account the decision by the UK to leave the EU, the G6 in October 2019 under the presidency of Germany agreed to a continuation of the G6 format after Brexit, so as to maintain a high level of cooperation with the UK for the purposes of guaranteeing security for its citizens. At the time the decision was also taken that the UK would take over the presidency of the G6 in 2020.

As a rule, the respective Ministers of the Interior for these states meet once a year in the country presiding over the G6. These meetings constitute a forum for consultation and agreement in respect to ongoing EU internal security matters, such as strengthening shared measures serving to combat organised crime and terrorism as well as effectively securing borders and taking measures against illegal immigration. As of 2007 the United States Secretary of Homeland Security has also taken part in G6 meetings of EU Interior Ministers.

Since its inception, Poland has hosted G6 meetings on three occasions (2007, 2011, 2014). The most recent G6 meeting with the USA took place in October 2019 in Munich under the presidency of Germany.

Visegrad Group

Founded in 1991, the Visegrad Group (V4) is a consultation and cooperation alliance of four countries of Central Europe: Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary, dealing with many areas of common priorities and interests. The convergence of foreign policies and geographical location provided an impulse for establishing regional cooperation.

The Ministry of the Interior and Administration is involved within the V4 in projects aiming to enhance internal security, particularly in terms of cooperation between police services, border authorities, migration and asylum issues, rescue services and civil protection.

From 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021, Poland is heading the Visegrad Group for the sixth time (previous presidencies held in years 2000/01, 2004/05, 2008/09, 2012/13 and 2016/17). 
The activities of the Ministry of the Interior and Administration under the recent Polish Presidency of V4 focus on current challenges to internal security, in particular in view of the unprecedented migratory pressure also affecting the borders of V4 countries, the growing threat of terrorist attacks in Europe and the discussion on institutional changes in the EU as regards border control and migration management.

Currently, a number of meetings are planned within the Ministry of the Interior and Administration, with the main axis of priorities of the Polish Presidency concentrated on promoting the interests of Member States within the current European agenda for security and migration.

Activities of the Minister of the Interior and Administration:

  • COVID-19: the need for active cooperation between V4 countries and states in the region to combat the effects of the pandemic and to develop joint response and civil protection mechanisms;
  • Migration: action at European level with the view to taking into account the position of V4 countries and the countries of the region, to build an efficient migration system based on effective external border surveillance, to strengthen the capacity of third countries to manage migration, to develop effective asylum systems and to cooperate in the fight against illegal migration;
  • Frontex: supporting the Agency’s new mandate and its use in the area of effective returns to countries of origin and transit. Supporting the process of signing agreements with the Western Balkan countries, as well as developing coherent crisis mechanisms for the Agency’s operations in the face of emergencies;
  • Internal security: developing a new strategy to strengthen EU security, including efforts to strengthen the mandate of the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation and Training (Europol);
  • BREXIT: coordinated cooperation with the UK to maintain a high level of cooperation and information exchange on internal security. Moreover, on 15.02.2021 we will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Visegrad Group, which will be an opportunity to take stock of the activities within the V4 and discuss the future of cooperation.

Civilian crisis management missions

Civilian crisis management missions of the European Union are carried out outside the EU within the framework of the Common Security and Defence Policy.

The Ministry of the Interior and Administration is involved in the following EU missions:

  • EULEX Kosovo – the mission was established under Council document ‘Council Joint Action 2008/124/CFSP of 4 February 2008 on the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo’. A Special Unit of the Polish Police is involved in this this mission in Kosovo;
  • EUMM Georgia – the decision on launching this mission was taken in Brussels on 15 September 2008 in response to a conflict that broke out in Georgia in August 2008;
  • EUBAM Moldova/Ukraine – the European Commission’s EUBAM mission at the Ukrainian-Moldovan border was launched on 30 November 2005 following a joint request submitted by Moldova and Ukraine to the European Commission;
  • EUAM Ukraine – The mission was established at the request of the Ukrainian authorities on the basis of the Council of the European Union Decision 2014/486/CFSP of 22.07.2014 on the European Union Advisory Mission for Civilian Security Sector Reform Ukraine. 

Ministerial Forum for Member States of the Schengen Area with External Land Borders

On the initiative of the interior ministers of Poland and Finland, in September 2013 the Ministerial Forum for Member States of the Schengen Area with External Land Borders was established and joined by the following countries at the time of founding: Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia, followed by Norway, Romania and Hungary that were also invited to join the group.

The Forum aims to promote multilateral cooperation, dialogue and sharing best practices on the challenges faced by interior ministers related to the issue of external land border management, as well as supporting work carried out at the EU level in this regard.