Justice and Home Affairs Council: extracts from the press conference (home affairs)
Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - Council
End production: 13/12/2011 First transmission: 13/12/2011
The Justice and Home Affairs Council (JHA) holds a two-day meeting on Tuesday, 13 and Wednesday, 14 December 2011 under the chair of Jacek Cichocki, Minister for the Interior, and Jarosław Gowin, Minister for Justice, in the Justus Lipsius building in Brussels.
On Tuesday, home affairs ministers looked at a number of Schengen related issues: First, regarding new rules for the more effective governance of the Schengen area, the Council examined a number of outstanding issues of the two proposed regulations: one concerns the establishment of an evaluation and monitoring mechanism to verify the application of the Schengen acquis, the other concerns common rules on the temporary reintroduction of border controls in
exceptional circumstances. Still on Schengen, ministers reverted to the question of Schengen accession of Bulgaria and Romania.
The Council will also discuss the state-of-play concerning negotiations on revised rules governing the EU's visa free regime. On asylum, the Council will look at the state-of-play of the different legal instruments aimed to improve the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). On migration, the Council will take note of a presidency paper regarding the EU response to increased migration pressures. Ministers will also hold a first exchange of views on the Commission communication on a "Global approach to migration and mobility".
Regarding terrorism related issues, the Council is expected to take a decision on the signing of the EU-US PNR agreement and request the European Parliament to give its consent. The EU Counterterrorism coordinator will present three documents for discussion: his most recent report on the EU Action Plan on combating terrorism, his latest discussion paper on the EU Counter-terrorism strategy and his report on the implementation of the revised strategy for terrorist financing. The latter has been drawn up in cooperation with the Commission.
Ministers will also be informed about the EU-US ministerial meeting on justice and home affairs issues which took place in November. Furthermore, the Council will have a first exchange of views on the package of justice and home affairs related Commission proposals in the context of the multiannual financial framework (2014-2020).
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||General view with Cecilia Malmström, Member of the EC in charge of Home Affairs and Jacek Cichocki, Polish Minister for the Interior
||SOUNDBITE (Polish) Jacek Cichocki: The Council took decision on the signing of the so called PNR agreement between the EU and the US on sending passenger data, and the next stage of that proceeding involves cooperation with the European Parliament, it is the end of the story for the moment as far as we are concerned. I could refer to a work which has been ongoing for some time now and where we feel that we have made some progress that concerns the Common European asylum package.
||SOUNDBITE (English) Cecilia Malmström: We decided, and that is to enter into negotiations with the European Parliament, on the mechanism of visa, the possible suspension mechanism on the very clear defined conditions, should there be repeatedly abuses on the visa. Now, I touch importance to the visa liberalisation process, but in order to maintain the credibility of this process and have a dialogue, it is important that this element is there, as a last resource.
||Cutaway of the press room
||SOUNDBITE (English) Cecilia Malmström: I had the possibility to update the colleagues today on our latest mission in Kosovo, last week, we have been putting demands on Kosovo to do progress on reintegration of the returnees, they have updated us, we also have a mission there to look at this, I could report to the Council that Kosovo has now made considerable progress in this area and we now consider that it is time to launch the visa dialogue with Kosovo and we will be in contact with the Kosovar authorities to fix a date.
||Cutaway of the press room
||SOUNDBITE (English) Cecilia Malmström: I feel a certain frustration on the issue, because the Commission has supported the Polish presidency very much in their endeavours to find a compromise and to work on this issue, so I can understand that Romania and Bulgaria are frustrated but we have discussed this many times, and the issue hasn't changed, so there were no surprises, so I think there was not a particularly tense debate, there was more frustration.
||General view of the press room