Justice and Home Affairs Council: extracts from the press conference

Type: Summary of press conference   Reference: I-057117   Duration: 11:05:16  Lieu:
End production: 18/04/2008
Meeting in Luxembourg on 18 April 2008, the EU Ministers for Justice and Home Affairs approved new talks with the United States on updating trans-Atlantic travel rules and mandated the European Commission to negotiate with the United States to include all EU Member States in the American visa waiver system, which would allow citizens of EU countries to travel to the United States for three months without obtaining a visa. At a press conference, Jacques Barrot, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Transport and Justice, Freedom and Security (pro term), told journalists that the Commission would engage in this negotiation very rapidly and send a team to Washington to start negotiations. The EU Member States also agreed on tight laws against incitement to terrorism in order to clamp down on militant groups' use of the Internet. As far as the question of Iraqi refugees was concerned, the EU Presidency said there could be no priority for Christian Iraqi refugees, after German Ministers said Europe should take them in. Dragutin Mate, Slovenian Minister for the Interior and President in office of the Council, said that they needed to be aware that international standards are such that they do not permit for a differentiation on the basis of religion or race.

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TIME DESCRIPTION DURATION
11:02:17 Title 00:00:04
11:02:22 General views of the press conference (2 shots) 00:00:12
11:02:34 Dragutin Mate, Slovenian Minister for the Interior and President in office of the Council, (in SLOVENIAN) on the US Visa-Waiver Programme; saying that there are two possible approaches, or rather parallel approaches, a twin-track approach; of key importance was what they achieved that is a compromise in giving the European Commission a mandate in order for it to negotiate with the United States; he would like to express his gratitude to the Member States who were very constructive and willing to find a balanced compromise, and withdraw all reservations that were still outstanding 00:00:34
11:03:08 Cutaway 00:00:07
11:03:15 Lovro Šturm, Slovenian Minister for Justice and President in office of the Council, (in SLOVENIAN) on the decision to modernise the framework decision on combating terrorism; saying that they have been able to strike a very sensitive balance between two important goals; they have to make sure that they respect the human rights and the fundamental freedoms of the citizens on the one hand, and on the other hand, this enables them to lead a more effective fight against terrorism; this also improves the capabilities of the EU to prevent terrorist attacks; they have to make sure that these criminal offences now in the Member States be criminalized and seen as criminal offences 00:00:42
11:03:57 Cutaway 00:00:04
11:04:01 Jacques Barrot, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Transport and Justice, Freedom and Security (pro term), (in FRENCH) on the Commission's mandate related to the visa-waiver programme; saying that they will engage in this negotiation very rapidly; DG Justice will send a team to Washington to start negotiations at the beginning of the following week; there is a very strong will on the part of the Commission to reach the objective set by this mandate in order to end this injustice which creates the impression that there are two categories of European citizens with different rights in terms of visas 00:00:36
11:04:37 Cutaway 00:00:07
11:04:44 Dragutin Mate (in SLOVENIAN) on the question of Iraqi refugees's status and burden-sharing in the EU; saying that this is a topic that merits further discussion; of course they need to be aware that international standards are such that they do not permit for a differentiation on the basis of religion or race; they will need to try and find solutions with which they can help different ethnic minorities from Iraq 00:00:32
11:05:16 Cutaway 00:00:06
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