At their first informal meeting under the German Presidency of the Council of the EU, the home affairs ministers will discuss the following topics:
Topic 1: European police partnership
The first part of the meeting will be devoted to law enforcement cooperation in Europe. Effective, trust-based cooperation among all law enforcement agencies is essential to ensure freedom and security in the Schengen area. This applies especially in times of crisis. Great strides have been made in recent years towards creating a regulatory framework, but the existing potential has not yet been fully utilised in practice. The home affairs ministers are therefore invited to discuss how to reduce obstacles and make implementation more effective. They will also look at the role of Europol and ways to improve information-sharing among European law enforcement authorities. Every police officer should have access at all times to all the information from every member state needed to safeguard the security of our citizens.
Topic 2: Search and rescue at sea
The second part of the meeting will focus on search and rescue at sea. The Joint Declaration of Intent on a Controlled Emergency Procedure of 23 September 2019 (the Malta Declaration) has brought considerable progress in search and rescue operations, thanks to the contribution made in a spirit of solidarity by numerous member states, the coordination efforts by the European Commission, and support from the EU agencies. The situation in the Mediterranean Sea nonetheless remains a major source of concern. Preventing more deaths in the Mediterranean and ending the inhumane business of people smugglers is a task for all of Europe. In view of the expected increase in migration in the entire Mediterranean region, the ministers are invited to discuss search and rescue operations at sea and how to advance the fight against people smuggling. Further issues to be discussed are increasing returns and improving the protection of the EU’s external borders.
The work programme of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community for the German Council Presidency 2020 bears the motto Together in Europe - Together for Europe. It is available at: