Migratory pressures, Europol/Cepol and future developments among the issues discussed at today’s JHA Council

Source: Greek Presidency of the EU i, published on Monday, March 3 2014, 21:07.

The future of the European Cooperation in the field of Justice and Home Affairs was discussed in today's Justice and Home Affairs Council of the European Union. The Council was chaired by the Minister of Public Order and Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Dendias and by the Minister of Interior Yannis Michelakis, who presented the work program in the area of Home Affairs.

The Council discussed the developments and trends of illegal migratory flows towards the European Union. In this context, the Presidency underlined the importance of activating all the necessary instruments and forces for the implementation of a series of actions on the European and national level as outlined by the European Council in December 2013. The Presidency highlighted need to closely monitor developments on migratory flows towards the European Union, so that a coherent and comprehensive response to current and future challenges in this field is ensured. Mr Dendias stressed that the Presidency will examine further promotion of cooperation between Member States in the framework of the JHA Council on the issue of illegal immigration.

Following an oral briefing to the JHA Council by the EU Commission, Ministers exchanged preliminary views on developments in Ukraine.

Europol και Cepol

Ministers of the JHA Council of the European Union discussed the future of Europol and Cepol and the Regulation on the European Agency for Cooperation and Training for Law Enforcement, which is a legislative priority of the Greek Presidency. The position of most Member States remains that Europol and CEPOL should continue to constitute two separate services. The Council invited the Commission to present a legislative proposal on a new legal basis for CEPOL as soon as possible.

Future Developments in the JHA area

The Ministers of European Union discussed also the future developments in the Justice and Home Affairs area. In this regard, Mr Dendias emphasized that a qualified evaluation procedure focusing on the citizen should be the guiding principle for the entire Multiannual Financial Framework period Mr. Dendias moreover stressed that the Common European Asylum System is an achievement, which needs considerable strengthening of practical cooperation and greater complementarity between the Commission, the EEAS and Member States for the implementation of «more for more» principle. The European Commission has announced that within the next few days, it will publish its Communication on the future development in the field of Justice and Home Affairs.

Adoption of the Directive on the direction of entry of third-country residences for the seasonal work

The on-going legislative activity in the field of legal migration as well as the continuation of discussions on the future of the JHA area (Post-Stockholm Programme) were also examined. The Minister of Interior, Yannis Michelakis, underlined the emphasis he places on the Directive of the European Parliament and the Council on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of research, studies, pupil exchange, remunerated and unremunerated training, voluntary service and au pairing, as well on the conditions of entry and residence of third country nationals in the framework of an inter-corporate transfer (ICTs).

In the margin of the JHA Council meeting and in the framework of promoting cooperation between the EU and third countries of particular migration interest, a Joint Declaration establishing a Mobility Partnership between the EU and Tunisia was signed.

During the meeting, the Ministers exchanged views on the issue of migration policies, and were informed by the Commission on the latest developments and trends concerning the migratory flows towards Europe. The Commission also briefed the ministers about the timing and progress of the implementation of the operational actions of the Task Force (Task Force) for the Mediterranean.

Member States highlighted the need to implement the "Smart Border Package" and to utilize all available tools of transnational cooperation, between the Member States and third countries, while stressing the importance attached to persons in need of international protection.

In the margin of the JHA Council two significant agreements were signed:

• The Arrangement for the Participation of Lichtenstein in the EASO.

• The Joint Declaration establishing a Mobility Partnership between the EU and Tunisia.

During the Mixed Committee meeting with the participation of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, the Swiss delegation updated Ministers about the outcome of the constitutional referendum entitled ‘Against mass immigration’ held on 9 February 2014.