Justice and Home Affairs Council (JHA): extracts from the press conference by Eleni MAVROU, Cypriot Minister of Interior, Loucas LOUCA, Cypriot Minister of Justice and Public Order and Cecilia MALMSTRÖM, Member of the EC in charge of Home Affairs
Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - Council / Justus Lipsius
End production: 06/12/2012 First transmission: 06/12/2012
Meeting today in Brussels, the European Ministers in charge of Justice and Home Affairs, discussed the latest state of play regarding the establishment of a common European asylum system (CEAS) in the European Union.
Cecilia Malmström, Member of the EC in charge of Home Affairs said that enormous progress had been made on CEAS and that the Council was seeing the contours of a political agreement maybe before the end of the year. It is important to get it right, she told journalists
Ministers also talked about the EU Counter-terrorism strategy and agreed on new measures to maximize aviation security against terrorist threats.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||General view of the press conference
||SOUNDBITE (Greek) by Eleni Mavrou, Cypriot Minister of Interior, on the common European asylum system (CEAS), saying that this was one of the priorities of the Cyprus presidency. Expressing satisfaction for the progress achieved so far. There is a need to maintain the momentum in order to finalize agreement as soon as possible.
||SOUNDBITE (Greek) by Loucas Louca, Cypriot Minister of Justice and Public Order, on aviation security against terrorist threats, saying that the Council today achieved its objective of maximizing security and protecting flights against terrorist threats. This issue of security of air transport is part of the protection of vulnerable targets from terrorist attacks.
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Cecilia Malmström, Member of the EC in charge of Home Affairs, on the common European asylum system (CEAS), saying that enormous progress has been made. The Council is not agreeing yet although it is seeing the contours of a political agreement maybe before the end of the year, or at least at the beginning of next year. That would be historical decision.
||Cutaway of press
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Cecilia Malmström still on the same issue, saying that the deadline set by the European Council to reach an agreement is 2012. Few weeks would not matter if Member States are close to really achieve a good high-quality agreement. Two issues remains to be solved. Hopefully it can be solved at political level in the coming weeks. It is important to get it right.
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Cecilia Malmström on the functioning of the Schengen area, saying that visa is a fantastic tool in many ways. Getting rid of visas is bringing people together but it is also a way to control the borders. Still there are challenges as more and more people want to come to the Schengen area. How the EU's visa policy could be made easier for those who want to come to Europe, while maintaining a high level of security. The European Commission will come forward with proposals next year evaluating the visa code, amending it and see how greater synergy and cooperation could be made. Input from Member States was interesting today.