Home Affairs Ministers Support the Horizontal Approach to the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice

Home affairs ministers of the European Union discussed the future of the area of freedom, security and justice, migration, the EBCG Regulation and interoperability.

Deputy Prime Minister of the the Government of the Republic of Croatia dr. sc. Davor Božinović chaired an informal meeting of home affairs ministers on 24 January 2020. The meeting was also attended by Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson, Chair of the LIBE Committee of the European Parliament Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar as well as Director General for Justice and Home Affairs at the General Secretariat of the Council Christine Roger. Furthermore, executive directors of EUROPOL, Frontex, EASO, eu-LISA, CEPOL as well as President of Eurojust also participated in the meeting.

At the beginning of the meeting, the ministers exchanged views on the future of the area of freedom, security and justice in the period between 2019 and 2024, as a preparation for the adoption of strategic guidelines in that area. In light of this discussion, the ministers supported the horizontal approach to strategic guidelines as proposed by EU2020HR, which will be further developed with the view to adopting the guidelines during the Croatian Presidency of the Council.

”Strategic guidelines will encompass values and the rule of law, restoring mutual trust, protecting the integrity of our common European space and mastering of artificial intelligence and new technologies in police work”  

Davor Božinović, Deputy Prime Minister

The challenges faced by Member States in the implementation of interoperability, especially in light of the establishment of important information systems such as the EES and ETIAS, were also discussed. The discussion showed that all stakeholders involved should complete technical preparations in order to meet the preconditions for the timely implementation of new systems and their integration with the existing information systems, such as the Schengen Information System, the VIS, etc. This will improve the security of the Union as a whole.

“This new interoperability framework is a game changer in the field of information exchange, which will contribute to improving border management and internal security in Europe!”   

Davor Božinović, Deputy Prime Minister

The third discussion was dedicated to migration and the countering of smuggling networks during which EUROPOL, Frontex and EASO presented the Joint Report on Migrant Smuggling. The aim of the discussion was to agree on measures to effectively combat smuggling networks, including enhanced cooperation with the countries of South East Europe. Ministers also commented on current developments in Libya and Turkey and their possible impact on migrant movements towards the European Union.

The last part of the informal meeting was dedicated to challenges and plans in implementing the Regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard. The aim of the discussion was to consider the current status of the establishment of a standing corps, but also to draw attention to possible challenges that Member States might face in making their experts available to a reinforced European guard.

The establishment of 10 000 members of the European Border and Coast Guard will continue to be monitored at political level and will be in the focus of discussions of expert working parties of the Council.

Izvor: https://eu2020.hr/Home/OneNews?id=156