4 December 2013: The boat tragedy in Lampedusa, one of the many Europe has witnessed in recent years, prompted an unprecedented call for action by EU leaders and citizens. This week, the European Commission proposed ways to increase solidarity and mutual support in order to prevent migrants' deaths in the Mediterranean.
4 December 2013: After years of deliberations, the European Union and Turkey have agreed to launch a dialogue on visa liberalization and sign a readmission agreement. The launch and signature ceremony will take place in the Turkish capital of Ankara on December 16th.
21 October 2013: Over the last few years, tragic gun attacks in Europe have repeatedly caught our attention, notably in Norway, Belgium, Finland, France or Italy to mention but a few. No country is unaffected and in the EU as a whole, more than one thousand people are victims of homicide by firearms each year. Now, the European Commission is presenting suggestions for how to reduce gun related violence in Europe. It identifies actions at EU level, through legislation, operational activities, training and EU funding, to address the threats posed by the illegal use of firearms.
15 October 2013: Commissioner Cecilia Malmström has unveiled the winners of the EU-wide multimedia competition 'Migrants in Europe' in which students from art, graphic and communication schools all over the EU were invited to reflect on the contribution migrants make to European societies.
9 October 2013: Following the shipwreck tragedy off the coast of Lampedusa, EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström visited the island together with European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta and Interior Minister Angelino Alfano. During the visit, they met with local authorities dealing with the reception of migrants, spoke to volunteer organisations as well as survivors from the shipwreck.
2 October 2013: On 3-4 October, the UN High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development convenes in New York, bringing together policy makers and practitioners from around the world. EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström, will represent the EU at the meeting. She will give a keynote speech on how global efforts in this field can be better suited to new realities, with ever-growing international mobility.
25 September 2013: To relocate asylum seekers from one EU Member State to another is a tangible form of solidarity and can provide relief in situations of migratory pressure. This September, the first ever Relocation Forum took place in Brussels organised by the European Commission, with the participation of Commissioner Cecilia Malmström. Among the participants were EU Member States, the European Asylum Support Office, UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration.
9 July 2013: Responding to recent statements by the Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström issued a statement Tuesday."I have learnt with great concern the statements from the Maltese Prime Minister about the possibility to send back persons recently arrived to Malta", Malmström said.
4 July 2013: The European Parliament has adopted new EU legislation to fight cybercrime, such as large-scale cyber-attacks. The legislation, proposed by EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström in 2010, includes tougher penalties against perpetrators, facilitating prevention measures and boosting judicial cooperation.
12 June 2013: The Common European Asylum System was endorsed by the European Parliament on Wednesday, giving the green light for the system to be implemented in all EU Member States. The aim of the common system is to ensure fair and humane treatment of asylum seekers in Europe, wherever they arrive."Getting the Common European Asylum System in place is an historic achievement... We have travelled a tough road to get here", EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said in a comment.
31 May 2013: Europe needs to work closer together to help the victims of today's slavery. Over 100 European civil society organisations are joining forces in the new EU Civil Society Platform against trafficking in human beings. The Europe-wide platform, set up by the European Commission, will serve as a forum for civil society organisations working at European, national and local levels.
30 May 2013: An agreement has been reached between EU institutions about a reinforcement of the EU area of free movement, Schengen. Welcoming the agreement, which was struck at so-called trialogue level between the Commission, the EU Council of Ministers and the European Parliament, EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström called the Schengen system "one of the most cherished achievements of the EU".
27 May 2013: In a speech in Berlin, Germany this week, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström called for political action against the rise of xenophobia and violent extremism in Europe."We need dedicated discussions at the highest level – meaning the heads of state and government at the European Council", Malmström said.
2 May 2013: This week, EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström visited Washington D.C., where she met with Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, and others. Main topics of discussion were cybercrime and joint efforts to fight sexual abuse of children online, as well as violent extremism, in view of the recent act of terror in Boston.
17 April 2013: On April 17 and 18, the EU Member States anti-terrorist police forces united as part of the EU-sponsored ATLAS Network, carrying out the most complex preparation and crises response simulation so far at European level. The simulation involved simultaneous terrorist attacks in 9 different EU Member States - Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and Romania.
15 April 2013: 23.632 people were identified or presumed victims of trafficking in the EU over the 2008-2010 period. This is the most striking figure emerging from the first report on trafficking in human beings in Europe, published on Monday by the European Commission. Despite this worrying background, to date, only 6 out of the 27 EU Member States have fully transposed the EU Anti-Trafficking Directive into their national legislation, with the deadline having expired on 6 April.
27 March 2013: The European Commission is proposing to make the EU law enforcement Agency (Europol) more effective at collecting information, analysing it and sharing these analyses with the Member States. This will let Europol provide more concrete and targeted support to the national law enforcement authorities in their cross-border cooperation and investigations. At the same time, the proposal increases Europol's accountability to the European Parliament and the national Parliaments and strengthens the protection of personal data.
27 March 2013: "We have travelled a tough road to get here", EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said in a statement Wednesday, as representatives of EU Member states endorsed two vital parts of the Common European Asylum System."The negotiations have not always been easy and it has taken several years, but I am confident that formal adoption of the whole asylum package will soon be possible," Malmström said.
25 March 2013: The EU needs to attract talented non-EU students and researchers who can contribute to our growth and competitiveness with their knowledge and skills. However, far too many of them have to face unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles when trying to study or conduct reseach in Europe. Today the Commission proposed to make it easier and more attractive for non-EU national students, researchers and other groups to enter and stay in the EU.
20 March 2013: Germany is prepared to give shelter to another 5000 Syrian refugees in the coming months, in response to the worsening conflict and refugee crisis. The decision was welcomed Wednesday by EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström.
7 March 2013: At the meeting of EU Home Affairs Ministers in Brussels Thursday, Commissioner Cecilia Malmström presented the European Commission's proposals for a "Smart borders" system. The system would facilitate and reinforce border check procedures for people travelling to the EU.
28 February 2013: The EU is moving towards a more modern and efficient border management by using state-of-the-art technology. This week, the Commission proposed a 'smart border package' to speed-up, facilitate and reinforce border check procedures for foreigners travelling to the EU.
25 February 2013: This week in Tbilisi, Georgia, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström handed the Action Plan for Visa Liberalisation over to Georgia's authorities – a further step towards full visa liberalisation and visa-free travel for Georgian citizens to the EU. The action plan sets out the conditions to be met by Georgia in this dialogue.
21 February 2013: What are the most pressing issues for the EU to deal with? What should be the focus of the Union in the next decade? At two citizens' dialogue events in Sweden and Italy, Europeans discussed the future of European cooperation with Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström. During the European Year of Citizens 2013, and in the run-up to the European elections next year, the European Commission has launched an in-depth debate with dialogue events in all 27 member states.
7 February 2013: The European Commission, together with the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, has published a cybersecurity strategy alongside a Commission proposed directive on network and information security. The strategy – "An Open, Safe and Secure Cyberspace" - represents the EU's vision on how best to prevent and respond to cyber disruptions and attacks.
31 January 2013: Europe is entering an important new era in the supply and demand for illicit drugs — a development which is challenging current policies and responses. This is according to the first joint EU drug markets report from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and Europol. The two EU agencies have joined forces to provide the first strategic analysis of the European illicit drug market in its entirety.
28 January 2013: How to sharpen Europe's tools to prevent violent extremism? A conference in Brussels on 28 and 29 January aims to give the answers to these questions, based on the work carried out by experts and practitioners in the Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN), launched by EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström.
9 January 2013: From 11 January, the new European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) is up and running to help protect European citizens and businesses from cybercrime. EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström participates in the official opening of the Centre, at the European Police Office, Europol, in the Hague.
18 December 2012: United Nations' International Migrants Day is December 18th, a day to discuss the human rights and fundamental freedoms of migrants around the world. The total number of migrants across the globe has increased over the past decade, from an estimated 150 million in 2000 to 214 million people today.
5 December 2012: EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström, together with US Attorney General Eric Holder, are launching a Global Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse Online. The initiative aims to unite decision-makers all around the world to better identify and assist victims and to prosecute the perpetrators. Participants at the launch in Brussels on 5 December include Ministers and high-level officials from 27 EU Member States, who are also joined by 21 countries outside the EU.
30 November 2012: Taking knives off our streets, addressing cyber-bullying or fostering early detection of addictions – these are among the innovative crime prevention initiatives taking place across the EU as part of the European Crime Prevention Network (EUCPN). In a report, the European Commission evaluates the efforts of the network to enhance safety and security for European citizens.
20 November 2012: The European Parliament has voted on new legislation to restrict access to chemicals that can be used to make bombs. With 595 for, 12 against and 14 abstentions, the Parliament supported the proposal of the European Commission to ensure the same level of control over certain chemicals all over the EU.
15 November 2012: How are countries tackling the new drugs phenomenon? Are school children consuming drugs more or less than before? In its annual report, EU drugs agency EMCDDA puts the drug situation in Europe under the spotlight. EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström participated in the launch of the report in Lisbon.
7 November 2012: The EU needs to cut red tape for tourists who want to visit Europe. That means less bureaucracy to get a visa, simpler application processes and shorter handling times. As the world's most popular tourist destination, a large part of the EU economy is dependent on the more than 13 million visas issued to foreign visitors annually.
26 October 2012: This week, EU Justice and Home Affairs Ministers met in Luxembourg. On the first day of deliberations, three pressing issues were in focus; protection of refugees from the Syrian conflict, negotiations on the common asylum system, and visa-free travel between the Western Balkans and the EU.
18 October 2012: This Thursday, on the EU day against trafficking in human beings, a high-level conference was held in Brussels on how to end this modern-day slavery. Globally, according to ILO estimates, there are nearly 21 million victims of forced labour, including sexual exploitation. 80 percent of victims in the EU are women. At a speech at the conference, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström underlined the importance of cooperation across borders.
12 October 2012: On Friday, the European Union was named the recipient of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. In a blog post, EU Home affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström commented on the award. "My first thoughts: Most welcome, unexpected, important. Unexpected, naturally, as there is are so many across the globe fighting for peace and democracy", she wrote, adding:
8 October 2012: EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström is in Greece to discuss the asylum and migration situation in the country. On Monday, she visited several registration and detention centres for migrants in the Evros region along the Greek-Turkish border.
28 September 2012: Every year, thousands of unaccompanied children travel to Europe seeking a new life. The majority has fled from wars, conflicts or other difficult living conditions and some have lost family members along the way. Today, in a report on the situation of unaccompanied minors in the EU, the European Commission calls for improved efforts at both national and European level to respond to this complex transnational challenge.
19 September 2012: Better reception conditions for asylum seekers and clearer rules. These are are among the improvements to the current EU asylum legislation that the Civil Liberties Committee of the European Parliament voted on Wednesday. In a statement, EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström welcomed the vote.
9 July 2012: A new Eurobarometer survey shows that Internet users are very concerned about cyber security: 89% avoid disclosing personal information online, and 74% agree that the risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime has increased in the past year. 12% of internet users across the EU have already experienced online fraud, and 8% have fallen victim to identity theft. Nonetheless, 53% have not changed any of their online passwords during the past year.
25 June 2012: This week, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström, is in Florence to attend the official opening of the Migration Policy Centre. Founded with the support of the European Union, the Migration Policy Centre conducts research on global migration issues relevant to European policies.
21 June 2012: The EU - US Justice and Home Affairs ministerial meeting held in Copenhagen Thursday called upon governments around the world to participate in building a Global Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse online. This initiative seeks to unite decision-makers all around the world to better identify and assist victims and to prosecute the perpetrators.
19 June 2012: Hundreds of thousands of people are trafficked in the EU every year. Women and men, boys and girls in vulnerable positions are traded for the purpose of sexual or labour exploitation, removal of organs, begging and forced marriage. This week, the European Commission adopted the EU Strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings.
8 June 2012: As EU Home Affairs ministers and Commissioner Cecilia Malmström met Thursday for the Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting, the main point on the agenda was the functioning of the Schengen system for free movement. Last autumn, the Commission proposed measures to strengthen Schengen. However, Thursday's conclusions by the Council did not reach the ambitions of the Commission in ensuring an EU-based system.
1 June 2012: The Commission has published a report on the 2011 developments in the areas of immigration and asylum, accompanied by a Eurobarometer on European citizens' attitudes towards cross-border mobility, migration and security. According to the survey, 8 out of 10 Europeans agree that EU Member States should offer protection and asylum to those in need and that rules for admitting asylum seekers should be the same across the union. A large majority of Europeans (67%) think it is important to be able to travel within the EU without internal border controls.
16 May 2012: This week, the international day against homophobia and transphobia is observed all over the world. In Europe, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people are still discriminated against and become victims of violence. In a speech at ILGA-Europe, the international lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex association in Brussels, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström underlined the need for vigilance in fighting homophobia.
16 May 2012: Over 400 million Europeans currently enjoy passport-free travel across the Schengen area. With Europeans making more than 1.25 billion journeys every year, vigilance is required to defend citizens' right to free movement. Today, the Commission adopted its first 'health check', a biannual overview on the functioning of the Schengen area, which will contribute to cooperation amongst Schengen countries. The report is accompanied by guidelines on how to implement the Schengen rules.
3 May 2012: At an international conference in Washington D.C. Wednesday, EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström spoke to participants about the ongoing fight against cyber crime. The conference, "Transatlantic Dimensions of Cyber Security", focused on cyber issues as an essential part of national security, and the importance of joint efforts by the EU and the United States."EU-U.S. cooperation is not a choice, but a necessity", Malmström said.
24 April 2012: Luxury villas, farmlands and nightclubs - these are among the assets that the Italian police have confiscated from the mafia in recent years. This week, EU commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström visited Apulia in Southern Italy where confiscated farmland is used for agriculture and social projects, creating jobs and opportunities in the local community. Recently, Commissioner Malmström proposed new EU rules for more effective confiscation of criminal assets in Europe.
19 April 2012: The European Parliament has approved a new agreement on the transfer of air passengers' data for flights from the EU to the US. The Passenger Name Record (PNR) agreement was adopted with 409 votes in favour, 226 against and 33 abstentions. The agreement contains stronger rules on police and law enforcement cooperation, as well as rules on how long PNR data may be stored, along with detailed descriptions of the purposes for which the data may be used. In a comment, Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said:"I welcome today's vote of the European Parliament giving its consent to the new Passenger Name Record Agreement with the United States of America. This is an agreement the three EU institutions can be proud of: it provides stronger protection of EU citizens' right to privacy and more legal certainty for air carriers than the existing EU-U.S. PNR Agreement from 2007."
4 April 2012: It is estimated that worldwide, more than one million people become victims of cybercrime every day. This week, the European Commission is presenting a European Cybercrime Centre to help protect European citizens and businesses against these mounting cyber-threats. The centre will be established within Europol, the European police agency in The Hague.
12 March 2012: Every year in Europe, hundreds of billions of euro go straight into the pockets of criminal gangs and the mafia. Despite efforts by law enforcement around Europe, much of the illegal profits remain in the hands of criminals. On Monday, the Commission proposed new rules for more effective and widespread confiscation of funds and other property acquired through crime. This will enhance the ability of Member States to confiscate assets that have been transferred to third parties, it will make it easier to confiscate criminal assets even when the suspect has fled and will ensure that competent authorities can temporarily freeze assets that risk disappearing if no action is taken.
8 March 2012: Through new EU legislation adopted Thursday by the Council, Europe establishes stronger regulations to effectively fight illegal arms trafficking. It establishes requirements for exports, imports and transit licensing, and makes it easier to track weapons. The illegal firearms' trade generates about €180 million per year globally. The legislation was proposed by Commissioner Cecilia Malmström in 2010.
15 February 2012: Corruption remains a major problem in the countries of the European Union and levels are thought to have risen over the last three years, according to the Eurobarometer survey published by the Commission today. The data shows that almost three quarters of Europeans continue to see corruption as a major problem and think that it exists at all levels of government. Eight percent of respondents say that they have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year.
10 February 2012: This week, it is precisely two years since Cecilia Malmström started her mandate as EU Commissioner for Home Affairs. During these 24 months, issues in her political portfolio have been high on the agenda of Europe, including migration and asylum matters, radicalisation and terrorism, and the fight against organized crime.
20 January 2012: This week, European Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström launched a visa liberalisation dialogue with Kosovo in Pristina. The aim of this dialogue is to eventually lift the visa obligation for citizens of Kosovo. This will only be possible once the Government of Kosovo has implemented substantial reforms in areas such as the security of travel documents; border, migration and asylum management; public order and security issues as well as fundamental rights.
17 January 2012: A few days ago, European Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström joined micro-blogging community Twitter as @MalmstromEU. As her first 140-character contribution, Malmström wrote:"10 years since opening of Guantanamo. A disgrace that prisoners are still held without trial. President Obama, time to live up to your promise."
12 January 2012: An international organised crime network, responsible for the large-scale production and trafficking of synthetic drugs, has been broken up following an extensive investigation by European law enforcement authorities. The operation has resulted in the arrest of the key members of the criminal network, the discovery of 3 illegal drug production facilities and the seizure of over 100 kg of amphetamine, significant quantities of drug precursors, ammunition, firearms and explosives.
16 December 2011: "On the occasion of International Migrants Day 18th of December, let me reiterate that the diversity brought by immigrants is a source of dynamism and of cultural richness for our economies and societies.
8 December 2011: In a speech at Transparency International Wednesday, Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström noted that corruption is "a disease which destroys countries from within". Malmström stressed recent initiatives launched by the European Commission and the need to make use of the tools at hand. December 9 is the international day against corruption.
2 December 2011: The European Commission is proposing to reinforce solidarity between Member States in the field of asylum and to make sure protection is guaranteed for people in need of shelter. The events of the Arab spring, and the rising number of migrants arriving in Malta and the Italian island of Lampedusa, have put the issue of solidarity in the asylum field in stark focus during the past months. These events stressed even further the need for a Common European Asylum System and highlighted a lack of mutual trust between Member States.
22 November 2011: Cybercrime, terrorism and data protection were three of the issues discussed when the EU and the United States met for the biannual ministerial meeting on Justice and Home Affairs issues Monday. Commissioners Cecilia Malmström and Viviane Reding, together with the Polish and Danish EU presidencies, met with Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Eric Holder from the US side in Washington D.C.
18 November 2011: The EU needs to boost its relationships with non-EU States to better reap the mutual benefits migration can bring. Although migration is high on the European Union’s agenda, the Arab spring and events in the Southern Mediterranean in 2011 has highlighted the need for a coherent migration policy for the EU. That is why today the European Commission proposes to strengthen dialogue and operational cooperation with non-EU partner countries in the area of migration and mobility.
15 November 2011: Recent events, be it the Arab Spring or the terrorist attacks in Norway, illustrate how important it is for the EU to be able to react quickly and effectively to rapidly evolving crisis situations. This is why the European Commission will increase the funding available for Home Affairs and will improve and simplify the way EU financing is delivered.
8 November 2011: Through a new agreement signed this Thursday, the European Commission and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) strengthened their cooperation, scrapping bureaucratic barriers between the two actors. The European Commission and EU Member States are major contributors to the IOM, and through the new agreement, signing off on new joint projects is made easier.
27 October 2011: In the European Parliament Thursday, a step was taken towards fairer treatment of refugees and others in need of protection in the EU. The Parliament voted in favour of a proposal from the European Commission on amending the so-called Qualification directive, which defines the grounds on which EU countries grant protection to those in need. The amendments voted through on Thursday include a common definition of groups considered especially vulnerable to state persecution in third countries. Also, the right to protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people is clarified in the legislative text.
25 October 2011: The EU needs a more modern and efficient management of traveller flows at its external borders. The European Commission has adopted a Communication which sets out the main options for using new technologies to simplify life for foreigners frequently travelling to the EU, and to better monitor third-country nationals crossing the borders.
21 October 2011: The decision by separatist organisation ETA to definitively cease its armed activity was welcomed Friday by Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström, who called it "a historic and most welcome development".
11 October 2011: As from 08:00 CET Tuesday, the Visa Information System (VIS) started operations. Visa applications will now be processed much faster thanks to the use of biometrics (fingerprints and a digital facial image) which will facilitate the identification of visa holders and help to avoid identity theft. This new system will allow for a quick and effective exchange of data on short-stay visas among Schengen countries. The first consular posts to be connected to the system are those in North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia).
6 October 2011: What can be done at EU level to prevent tragedies like the one in Norway last summer? How can radicalisation and extremism be prevented? Such issues were debated in Stockholm, Sweden, Thursday at a conference on youth issues. In a speech, Commissioner Cecilia Malmström spoke of the the importance of engaging in preventive work at an early stage, and not only fighting full-grown terrorism.
30 September 2011: A better exchange of knowledge is needed about how to fight corruption. To tackle this, the European Commission is setting up an advisory network of experts from all around Europe. On Friday, the call for applications was officially launched, directed to researchers in academia, representatives from law enforcement, civil society and elsewhere.
28 September 2011: According to a report issued by the Commission Wednesday, foreign students still experience difficulties coming to the EU to study, due to an uneven implementation of the relevant EU legislation. The first report on how Member States have implemented EU rules on the entry and residence of students, pupils, unremunerated trainees and volunteers from third countries suggests that the use of these forms of temporary migration could be improved further.
22 September 2011: At the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council in Brussels Thursday, no agreement was reached on whether Romania and Bulgaria can join the borderless Schengen area. Commissioner Malmström commented afterwards:"It is indeed a pity that we did not get a better result out of this Council meeting. The Commission supported the efforts by the Polish presidency to find a solution."
20 September 2011: "Easier access to visas will improve cooperation and exchanges between the EU and Armenia and Azerbaijan. Visa facilitation and readmission agreements are very tangible results of the Eastern partnership and I know how much this means to the citizens of these countries", said Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs.
16 September 2011: The Commission proposed today to strengthen the Schengen area to guarantee free movement for the hundreds of thousands of EU citizens and third countries' nationals travelling within this territory every day.
13 September 2011: The amended Regulation contains important changes that will strengthen safeguards so as to guarantee the full respect of fundamental rights and improve the ability of Frontex to support Member States more efficiently and more independently. The Commission therefore welcomes the European Parliament's support for a stronger and more efficient Frontex, says Commissioner Cecilia Malmström.
9 September 2011: Today Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs, launched the Radicalisation Awareness Network which aims to counter violent extremism. The initiative will support Member States' efforts to prevent violent radicalisation and the recruitment of individuals to terrorist activities. The network will connect key actors involved in countering radicalisation across the EU such as social workers, religious leaders, youth leaders, policemen, researchers and others who work on the ground in vulnerable communities.
28 July 2011: Today, sixty years have passed since the signature of the Geneva Convention on Refugees, which has helped millions of men, women and children fleeing persecution, wars and torture, to secure protection and the prospect of a brighter future. As the world remains scarred by conflicts new and old, EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström writes today in European newspapers, together with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres, that it is crucial that Europe remains true to its values and obligations, and that the EU should commit to do more to protect and find solutions for the displaced and persecuted.
20 July 2011: There are over 20 million people from outside the EU living in the Member States. They represent four percent of the total EU population. Today the European Commission adopted a European Agenda for Integration that highlights the need for better integration in the EU.
18 July 2011: EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström is in the Polish town of Sopot today together with EU Ministers of the Interior. The occasion is the Informal Meeting of Home Affairs Ministers, where the Common European Asylum System, Schengen, and anti-drug policy are on the agenda.
13 July 2011: Today, the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström, announced the visit of European Commission experts to Denmark on 14 and 15 July. This assessment mission is part of the Commission's dialogue with the Danish authorities on the implementation of measures aimed at reinforcing internal controls at the Danish borders.
12 July 2011: The EU has come one step closer towards agreeing on the Common European Asylum System today, as the European Parliament’s Civil, Justice and Home Affairs Committee approved today the proposal to amend the Directive on standards for the qualification and status of third country nationals or stateless persons as refugees or as persons who otherwise need international protection and the content of the protection granted. The amendment was proposed by the Commission in October 2009.
8 July 2011: On 1 July Poland took over the EU Presidency of the Council of Ministers from Hungary. As usual in the beginning of each new EU Presidency the college of Commissioners go to the country's capital to meet with the government. Together with her Commissioner colleagues, Cecilia Malmström is spending the day in Warsaw.
30 June 2011: The negotiators of the three EU institutions – the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission have found a political agreement on the text of the Directive on combating sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography.
24 June 2011: The 2012 deadline for agreeing on a Common European Asylum System has been confirmed by the political leaders of EU Member States. There is an EU-wide agreement to initiate long-term mobility partnerships with the countries in North Africa. And EU Heads of State and Government have reiterated their support for Schengen. Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström welcomes the Council conclusions.
23 June 2011: EU Heads of State and Government are meeting today and tomorrow in Brussels for the European Council. The situation in Greece and the financial crisis is of course on the agenda, but also asylum, migration, and Schengen issues. Commissioner Cecilia Malmström urges EU leaders to stand up for European values of solidarity, tolerance, and mutual respect between countries and people, and give negotiations on a Common European Asylum System a much needed push forward.
22 June 2011: The negotiators of the three EU institutions – the European Parliament, the Council, and the European Commission, today reached a political agreement on giving the External Border Agency Frontex a stronger mandate to carry out its tasks.
20 June 2011: There is currently an estimated 43 million refugees around the world. Today, on World Refugee Day, EU Commissioners Cecilia Malmström and Kristalina Georgieva underline that "offering asylum to those in need is an obligation", and request greater efforts from all EU Member States to agree on a Common European Asylum System during next year.
10 June 2011: A long Justice and Home Affairs Council in Luxembourg is over. EU Commissioner for Home Affairs concluded that discussions were constructive but sometimes difficult, and is glad that Member States agreed on continuing negotiations on the asylum package with the aim of reaching an agreement as planned in 2012.
8 June 2011: Tomorrow and Friday the EU Ministers for Migration and Justice meet in Luxembourg. On the agenda are, among other things, asylum and migration issues, and EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström is hoping that the meeting will lead to some steps forward towards a common asylum and migration policy.
6 June 2011: EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström wants to see tougher anti-corruption measures and a stronger commitment from politicians and decision-makers. She underlined this during a press conference in Brussels today when presenting a set of measures for fighting corruption in Europe.
1 June 2011: "To agree on a genuine common European immigration and asylum policy is one of my top priorities during this mandate as Commissioner for Home Affairs", said Cecilia Malmström today when she presented two revised asylum directives during a press conference in Brussels – the Asylum Procedures Directive and the Reception Conditions Directive.
24 May 2011: EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström presented today three documents in the field of asylum and migration: a proposal to amend the EU regulation on visas; a Communication on a dialogue for migration, mobility and security with the Southern Mediterranean countries; and the Annual Report on Immigration and Asylum for 2010.
23 May 2011: EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström is back in Brussels after two days in St Petersburg where she went together with the Hungarian EU Presidency to meet with Russia's Ministers for Justice and the Interior. She also participated in the event International Legal Forum together with Russia's President Medvedev.
11 May 2011: Tomorrow EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström meets with the EU's Interior Ministers at an extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs Council to discuss migration issues in light of recent events in North Africa. In addition to the meeting, a ministerial conference will take place. Commissioner Malmström has invited the ministers with the hope of more countries offering to take in the refugees who are stranded in North Africa and those who have come to the smallest EU Member State Malta and are in need of protection.
4 May 2011: The Communication on migration adopted by the Commission on the 4 of May includes initiatives for a more structured, comprehensive, rapid-response approach from the EU to the challenges and opportunities of migration, not least in view of the current developments in the Mediterranean.
18 April 2011: Today the Commission adopted an evaluation report of the Data Retention Directive. EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström presents the report at a press conference in Brussels at 14.30.
12 April 2011: The Commission adopted today a report on the functioning of 'Asset Recovery Offices' set up in Member States to identify illegally acquired assets on their territory and deprive criminals from their criminal profits. The report shows that the offices are important in fighting organised crime, but at the same time more needs to be done to get hold of the substantial amounts that are acquired through illegal activities within the EU.
11 April 2011: Refugee and migration issues are high on the agenda today, when the EU’s ministers for migration and the interior meet in Luxembourg to discuss the situation in North Africa, the Greek action plan for migration and asylum, the road forward for the common European asylum policy, and other issues of common interest. EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström is there to represent the European Commission.
8 April 2011: Representatives from Member States, EU institutions, international organisations and civil society meet in Brussels today to reflect on the future funding in the Home Affairs field for the coming years (2014-2020).
1 April 2011: Today, 1 April, Commissioner Cecilia Malmström announces an award of 100 000 euro to the police officer who makes most progress in fighting eurocrimes, as defined in Article 83(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. These crimes are: terrorism, trafficking in human beings, sexual exploitation of women and children, illicit drug trafficking, illicit arms trafficking, money laundering, corruption, counterfeiting of means of payment, computer crime and organised crime.
1 April 2011: Back in Brussels after a two day long visit in Tunisia, to where she went together with her Commissioner colleague Stefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström met with media today to debrief them on her impressions from the visit and speak about the current refugee situation as regards North Africa.
30 March 2011: EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström is in Tunisia together with Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Füle to assess the refugee situation, see how the EU can assist in carrying out Tunisian reforms, and discuss possible future cooperation on migration and mobility.
25 March 2011: EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström was in Cairo yesterday together with the Hungarian EU Presidency. She met with NGOs, UNCHR, and IOM to discuss the current refugee situation and the possibility to form a future Egyptian asylum and migration policy. Her meeting with the Egyptian Minister of Interior Mr Mansur El-Essawi resulted in the setting up of a working group to discuss future EU-Egypt areas of cooperation.
11 March 2011: Seven years ago today, 191 people were killed and at least 1800 injured in a terrorist attack on a train in the morning rush in Madrid. The European Union has devoted 11th March to remembering all victims of terrorist attacks in Europe and elsewhere in the world.
28 February 2011: The events in North Africa were the main focus on the agenda when the EU ministers for interior met in Brussels last week. But there was also time for discussions on the asylum situation in Greece, a readmission agreement with Turkey, and the Commission legislative proposal on cybercrime.
16 February 2011: Today Commissioner Malmström is on an official visit to Berlin. She is attending the 14th European Police Congress where key representatives of law enforcement authorities from different Members States get an opportunity to meet, interact and exchange ideas.
15 February 2011: During the weekend the Italian island of Lampedusa faced increased pressure of migratory flows following the turbulent situation in Tunisia. Approximately 5 500 Tunisian migrants are reported to have reached the Italian shores in the last couple of days.
11 February 2011: Two full days in Romania and Bulgaria have come to an end. The visits have been planned since October, as part of Commissioner Malmström's ambition to visit all Member States to talk about common issues within her portfolio. However, much of the discussions focused on the two countries' possible accession to the Schengen area.
10 February 2011: One year ago today, on 10 February 2010, Cecilia Malmström took office as EU Commissioner for Home Affairs. It has been very intense, and sometimes a tougher debate than I had expected. At the same time it is a privilege to work with these important issues that really affect the everyday lives of our citizens, says Cecilia Malmström when summing up the past 12 months.
9 February 2011: Tomorrow and Friday, 10-11 February, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström will visit Bucharest and Sofia where she will meet with ministers, NGO’s and stakeholders to discuss issues of common interest.
3 February 2011: The policy area of Home Affairs has been steadily growing the last years, with more attention given to an open Europe, a coherent asylum and migration policy, keeping citizens secure while ensuring respect for personal integrity, and increased cooperation and solidarity both within the EU and with partners outside the Union. In view of the ongoing budget discussions for the coming years, the Commission has launched an online public consultation for the Home Affairs area.
2 February 2011: The European Commission adopted today a proposal for a Directive on common rules for the use of Passenger Name Record data (PNR) to better fight serious crime and terrorism. The proposal obliges air carriers to save certain information on passengers on flights to and from the EU.
25 January 2011: Meeting Prime Minister Vlad Filat, presenting an EU Action Plan on visa liberalisation with Moldova, and visiting a shelter for victims of human trafficking were some of the points on the agenda for EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström these last days, during her visit to Moldova.
21 January 2011: According to the Dublin regulation an asylum application should be processed in the first EU Member State the asylum applicant arrives in, but an asylum applicant who was sent back to Greece filed charges against Greece in the European Court of Human Rights. The Court has now announced its ruling.
17 January 2011: The last few days EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström has been focusing on discussions on both the future EU asylum and migration policy and security policy in the shape of cyber threats and cyber security.
21 December 2010: Following last week's great majority vote in the European Parliament, in favour of the Directive proposal that EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström presented in March, today was a further step forward in the fight against trafficking in human beings.
14 December 2010: The European Parliament voted this afternoon in favour of the proposal for a Directive on trafficking in human beings, which the Commission put forward last spring. At the same time, the Commission appointed the new Anti-Trafficking Coordinator, who will get a central role in the coordination of EU policies within this field. "An important day for the EU's fight against this modern day slavery", emphasises the responsible EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström.
10 December 2010: During her visit to Washingon 8-9 December, Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström discussed issues of common interest with Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Eric Holder as well as with Members of Congress. The issues discussed included cyber crime and cyber security, cargo security, terrorism and migration.
9 December 2010: "Transparency is corruption's worst enemy. International research has shown a crystal clear relationship between a high level of transparency and low level of corruption in public administrations. The reverse is equally true: less transparent administrations suffer from a higher level of corruption. At the occasion of the international anti-corruption day, I call today on all actors in Europe, businesses as well as public administrations, to work for increased transparency", said EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström in a statement.
8 December 2010: Today and tomorrow, 8-9 December, EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström is in Washington to discuss issues such as cyber crime and cyber security, migration, terrorism, and passenger name records (PNR).
3 December 2010: At the meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council today, the EU Justice Ministers agreed on a Directive on trafficking in human beings, following a proposal put forward by the European Commission earlier this year.
3 December 2010: A conference about the Data Retention Directive today was the last step before the Commission publishes its evaluation of the directive. In her speech, EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström made clear that the Directive will be changed: "I am convinced that data retention is here to stay. Access to telecommunications data is, at least in some cases, the only way of detecting and prosecuting serious crime. But most, perhaps all, of us would agree that the Data Retention Directive leaves room for improvement. I therefore intend to prepare a proposal to amend the Directive."
29 November 2010: At the occasion of the 99th International Organization for Migration Council Session in Geneva, Switzerland, EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström emphasized the need to consider our attitudes towards migration in her speech:
24 November 2010: Negotiators from the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission have agreed on the way forward in the EU's fight against trafficking in human beings. The text that was negotiated is a proposal for a Directive that the Commission put forward in March this year.
15 November 2010: Last week, after the decision of Member States to introduce a visa-free regime for Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina, EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström visited the two capitals on Friday to talk about the new regime.
8 November 2010: On Friday 5th of November EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström visited Orestiada in Greece, following the deployment of the EU Rapid Border Intervention Teams (RABIT) to support Greece in controlling its border.
8 November 2010: At their meeting in Brussels today, EU interior ministers unanimously supported the Commission's proposal on a visa free regime for citizens from Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina travelling to the EU.
4 November 2010: On Friday the 5th of November EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström visits Greece. Following the deployment of EU border control specialists, Cecilia Malmström will visit the border between Greece and Turkey, talk to the Frontex Rapid Border Intervention Teams and visit a centre for asylum seekers.
26 October 2010: EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström was in Stockholm today to meet with representatives of the new Swedish government. The ongoing negotiations towards a common European asylum and migration policy were among the issues on the agenda when she met with Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, Minister for EU Affairs Birgitta Ohlsson and Minister for Integration Erik Ullenhag.
25 October 2010: Greece has been having difficulties for a long time in dealing with the large number of people who comes there from countries outside of Europe. Many get stuck in Greece while waiting for Greek authorities to process their asylum applications and other documents. At the same time, migrants continue to arrive from mainly Africa and the Middle East. Lately, the number of people entering the EU via the Greek land border with Turkey has increased drastically. This weekend, the Greek government requested EU support to be able to deal with the situation.
18 October 2010: In a majority of EU Member States, only a small number of residence permits are issued to victims of trafficking in human beings. This is shown in a report the Commission has published today, on the EU Anti-trafficking day, on the implementation of the Directive on the residence permits issued to victims of trafficking.
12 October 2010: EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström is back in Brussels after meetings in Vienna and Bratislava, where she met with Austria's and Slovakia's ministers for justice and home affairs yesterday. The topics for discussion were, among others, the negotiations on the future of the EU asylum policy, the Union's work in fighting trafficking in human beings, and the action-oriented European Internal Security Strategy that Cecilia Malmström plans to propose later this fall.
7 October 2010: In Luxembourg today, European ministers of immigration and the interior met for the first day of the Council on Justice and Home Affairs. The state of play of the development of a Common European Asylum System was on the agenda, as was the Commission's recent proposals on labour migration and on combating sexual exploitation of children. Another issue that was discussed was the EU's response to terrorism, in light of the recent security alerts from the United States and other countries on increased risk for terrorist attacks in Europe.
6 October 2010: Two days meetings in Libya between EU Commissioners Cecilia Malmström and Stefan Füle on the one part and representatives from the Libyan authorities on the other resulted in an agreement between the EU and Libya on a plan for cooperation in the coming years on issues related to asylum, migration, and international protection.
30 September 2010: EU Commissioners Cecilia Malmström and Neelie Kroes today presented two new proposals for Directives aiming to strengthen the EU's defences against cyber attacks. The proposals suggest that legislation should be made up to date, that criminal sanctions should be made tougher, that police cooperation should be intensified, that the mode of gathering statistics should be improved, and that the EU agency for IT Security, ENISA, should be strengthened and modernised.
28 September 2010: EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström has spent two days in Athens to discuss the Greek asylum system. This is how she sums up the situation: "I am cautiously optimistic, but the work is gigantic and will take time."
23 September 2010: The annual European Security Research conference is taking place this week in Oostende, on the Belgian coast. Stakeholders in the area of security research, technology development and innovation meet to discuss the future for European security. EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström held the opening speech of today.
21 September 2010: An increasing number of countries use Passenger Name Record data in the fight against serious transnational crime and terrorism. Today, the European Commission adopted a package that sets out the general principles that any PNR agreement with a third country should be based on.
20 September 2010: The bomb attacks in the London public transport in July 2005 were carried out using homemade explosives based on hydrogen-peroxide. In recent years, several planned attacks with similar explosives have been stopped in time. EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström today proposes EU rules in order to limit access to dangerous chemicals that can be misused to produce home-made explosives.
17 September 2010: Asylum, security, and the EU's work against organised crime and terrorism was on the agenda when EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström today and yesterday visited London. She had meetings with the ministers in charge and visited the border control at Heathrow airport.
15 September 2010: "There is solid evidence that effective action at EU level is needed", said EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström in the European Parliament today, where she participated in a public hearing on the EU's anti-corruption policy.
14 September 2010: Ministers and stakeholders from all over Europe are gathered in Brussels today to discuss the future for EU cooperation in the area of asylum. Negotiations have been on hold for months, since Member States have difficulties agreeing on common standards and procedures. In her speech at the conference, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström, expressed her concerns over the trends in Europe of sometimes speaking more of how to stop people from coming to the EU than to improve and harmonise the asylum procedures.
8 September 2010: An important part of the work towards a Common European Asylum System is the Asylum Procedures Directive. It is designed to establish minimum standards for fair and efficient procedures for granting and withdrawing refugee status. This week, the European Commission report on the application of the directive was presented. It shows that procedural guarantees still vary considerably across the EU.
2 September 2010: The European Commission has just finished its two day working seminar in Val Duchesse outside of Brussels. The seminar was a kick-off for the Commission's work this year, and several weighty issues were on the agenda. Among them the experiences of how the Lisbon Treaty has effected the EU cooperation, and the future review of the EU budget.
27 August 2010: This summer, the EU and the United States signed an agreement on tracking of terrorism financing, the so called TFTP agreement (Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme). The text stated that the European Commission would appoint an independent European person with the mission of monitoring the data searches that are being carried out within the agreement framework. An interim overseer has now been appointed.
6 August 2010: "I understand that today's decision is taken in accordance with the Travel Promotion Act's obligations. Nevertheless, I regret very much the fee established by the interim rule. I have repeatedly raised concerns about the introduction of this fee and I remain convinced that these new requirements applicable only to travelers under the Visa Waiver Program, are inconsistent with the commitment of the U.S. to facilitate transatlantic mobility and will be an additional onus for European citizens travelling to the U.S.", said Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs.
6 August 2010: The European Commission adopted today draft decisions on short-stay visa waiver agreements between the EU and Brazil. Thereby, all European citizens would be able to travel to Brazil visa-free.
3 August 2010: The 2009 annual report on the activities of EU wide database EURODAC was published today by the European Commission. Among other things, the report shows that the number of registered asylum applications rose by eight percent in 2009 compared to the year before.
20 July 2010: The European Commission has carried out a stocktaking of existing EU instruments used for storage and exchange of personal data. The overview was put forward today by Commissioner Cecilia Malmström during a press conference in Brussels.
15 July 2010: Migration and Interior Ministers from EU Member States gather in Brussels today for an informal council meeting. EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström took part in the discussions this morning on a future asylum system for the EU.
13 July 2010: "We need immigrant workers in order to secure our economic survival", stated EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström today as the Commission adopted proposals for two directives on labour migration to the EU.
8 July 2010: "I am very happy about the large consensus that has become established between the main political groups of the European Parliament in favour of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme agreement negotiated between the European Commission and the United States", said Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström in Strasbourg today, where the European Parliament voted in favour of the so called TFTP agreement.
5 July 2010: In Brussels today, 15 employees of national Immigration and Asylum Services in Europe met to discuss asylum procedures and asylum decision making during a training session arranged by the European Asylum Curriculum (EAC). EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström was there, together with Belgian Federal Minister for Migration and Asylum Melchior Wathelet, to get an insight in EAC's activities.
2 July 2010: Monday, 5 July, EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström will participate in a seminar in Brussels where she will discuss EU immigration and asylum policy with the Belgian Federal Minister for Migration and Asylum Melchior Wathelet. She will also visit a European Asylum Curriculum (EAC) training session for employees of the Immigration and Asylum Services in EU Member States.
1 July 2010: EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström held an opening speech during the EPP hearing in the European Parliament today, on the EU's fight against sexual abuse of children on the internet.
28 June 2010: The EU and the United States signed the so called TFTP agreement in Brussels today, following the adoption by the Council last week. EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, who was in charge of the negotiations from the EU's side, was present during the signing ceremony.
24 June 2010: The role of civil society in the EU's work towards a common asylum and migration policy is being discussed today at a conference arranged by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) in Brussels. EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström held a speech at the conference this morning, where she underlined the importance of dialogue and cooperation in order for the EU to be able to meet the challenges of the future in the asylum and migration area.
22 June 2010: EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström met with Bosnia and Herzegovina's Minister of Security Sadik Ahmetovic today in Brussels. Visa issues were the main topic for the meeting, which focused on how far Bosnia and Herzegovina has come on its way towards full visa liberalisation with the EU.
21 June 2010: EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström today visited Berlin. She met with Germany's Minister of the Interior Thomas De Maizière, colleagues to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and members of the German Parliament's, the Bundestag, committee for home affairs.
18 June 2010: More than 260 000 people applied for asylum in an EU Member State last year – one fourth of them were minors, according to recent statistics from Eurostat ahead of the World Refugee Day on 20 June.
17 June 2010: It will be easier for Georgian citizens to apply for EU visas. Today, EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström signed the so called visa facilitation agreement together with Georgian Minister for Foreign Affairs Grigol Vashadze and Spanish Minister for Foreign affairs Miguel Angel Moratinos.
17 June 2010: At the EU Summit in Brussels today, EU heads of state and government adopted the so called EU2020 Strategy for jobs and growth, which outlines how the EU can become more competitive in the future. EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström welcomes the adoption and underlines that immigration is one of the key issues to focus on in order to secure the future of the EU.
15 June 2010: The EU and Moldovan authorities will start examining the technical preconditions for the establishment of a visa-free regime for Moldovan citizens. That was concluded today, as the European Commission launched a dialogue on visa-free travel with the Republic of Moldova.
15 June 2010: The European Commission today adopted a draft agreement on the Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme, TFTP, between the EU and the United States. EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström now calls on the Council and the European Parliament to endorse the proposal so that the agreement can enter into force.
10 June 2010: EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström today visited the European Parliament's committee on Civil liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, where she presented the state of play in the negotiations on the new agreement on terrorist financing tracking programme with the US.
4 June 2010: The Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting in Brussels is almost over. As EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström just returned from Washington, one of the agenda points was the ongoing negotiations between the EU and the US on the TFTP agreement.
4 June 2010: Monday 7 June, Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström will be in Malmö and Lund in southern Sweden. On the agenda are discussions on trafficking in human beings with the Malmö Border Police, a visit to the aid organisation Tamam, and meetings with the Swedish Migration Board in Malmö.
3 June 2010: Today and tomorrow, 3 and 4 June, Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström joins the EU's ministers for justice and home affairs in Luxembourg for the JHA Council meeting. Malmström will present some of the proposals put forward by the European Commission in the last weeks.
3 June 2010: Cecilia Malmström is on her way back to Europe after three days of meetings in Washington. She met with among others Secretary of Treasure Timothy Geithner and Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey for discussions on the ongoing negotiations between the EU and the US on an agreement on transfer of banking data in order to combat terrorism.
31 May 2010: "Combating illicit trafficking of firearms is crucial in our fight against organised crime. That is why the Commission proposed today to give EU law enforcement authorities better tools to track movement of firearms coming to and leaving the EU,'' EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said today.
27 May 2010: Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström today presented a proposal to abolish the short-term visa requirement for citizens of Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina travelling to countries within the Schengen area.
27 May 2010: Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström attended a conference in Warsaw on Tuesday, at the fifth anniversary of the foundation of Frontex. Discussions were focused on border control and on the role of fundamental rights in the area of border management. Cecilia Malmström then continued to Kazan, where she discussed visa issues and the fight against organised crime with her Russian colleagues yesterday, during a partnership meeting between the EU and Russia.
19 May 2010: Discussions are still ongoing in Strasbourg, where the European Parliament this week is holding a plenary session. EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström was present when discussions were held on the Schengen Information system and the establishment of a joint EU resettlement programme.
17 May 2010: On Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 May, Cecilia Malmström will attend the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. On the agenda are, amongst other issues, the migration from the Schengen Information System (SIS 1+) to the second generation SIS II, the European Refugee Fund for the period 2008 to 2013 and the establishment of a joint EU resettlement programme.
10 May 2010: Today, Cecilia Malmström discussed visas and readmission agreement with the Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoglu. She met also the Ukrainian Minister for Foreign Affairs Kostyantyn Gryshchenko with whom she talked about Ukrainian reform efforts in the area of home affairs. They also discussed visa related questions.
6 May 2010: "I am as you know fully committed to the aim of creating a common EU asylum system. Today I want to focus on the most vulnerable group, the boys and girls coming all by themselves to Europe", said EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström earlier today when presenting the Action Plan on Unaccompanied Minors.
5 May 2010: Enhancing EU-Georgia relations. That is the scope of the proposals put forward today by the European Commission, on visa facilitation and readmission agreements between Georgia and the EU.
3 May 2010: Last week, Commissioner Cecilia Malmström visited Rome and Valletta, where she met with ministers, parliamentarians, media and civil society to discuss immigration and asylum. Now back in Brussels, she reports on interesting discussions and depressing impressions.
28 April 2010: By the end of this week Commissioner Cecilia Malmström will discuss asylum and migration with two of the Member States that receive most of the Union's asylum applications: Italy and Malta.
28 April 2010: The importance of a common European asylum system was the main issue for discussion when Cecilia Malmström met with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres in Brussels on 27 April. Guterres wants a more proactive European approach in refugee relocation policy and called on the EU to "put a stop to the mosaic of asylum systems".
23 April 2010: The most recent tool in the EU's fight against cross-border crime is an exchange programme quite similar to that used at universities across Europe. But in this version, it is police officers that will move abroad and study in another EU country. That was concluded by the Justice and Home Affairs Council in Brussels today.
23 April 2010: In the event of terrorism or similar threats, essential infrastructure within the EU needs to be protected. Today, the Commission launched the pilot phase of CIWIN - a protective system where Member States can exchange information in order to prevent critical infrastructure damage in the future.
23 April 2010: Following today's political agreement at the Council to adopt a mandate for the European Commission to negotiate a long term agreement with the US on the processing and transfer of financial messaging data in the framework of the Terrorist Financing Tracking Programme (TFTP), Commissioner Malmström stated:
22 April 2010: Tomorrow 23 April Cecilia Malmström will participate in the Justice and Home Affairs Council in Brussels. As Home Affairs Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström will present her part of the action plan for the next five years, adopted by the Commission on 20 April. The plan gathers concrete actions with set timelines aimed at creating a single area of justice and security for Europe's citizens.
20 April 2010: A European asylum and immigration policy based on dignity, solidarity and respect for fundamental rights, more legal ways into the EU, and a common EU approach to combat organised cross-border crime, terrorism and trafficking in human beings. In the coming years, these are key issues for Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström to focus on. Today, she presented a justice, security and freedom action plan based on the Stockholm Programme together with Vice-President of the European Commission Viviane Reding.
16 April 2010: The ministerial conference on integration in Zaragoza, Spain is coming to an end. During the conference, European Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström presented a "Handbook" that finalises the 2005 Common Agenda for Integration. In her speech, Commissioner Malmström underlined that it is now time to develop a new strategy for the coming years.
9 April 2010: On April 15 and 16, Commissioner Malmström will participate in the conference in Zaragoza, Spain where representatives from all Member States and the European Commission gather for two days to discuss the completion of the EU framework on integration.
6 April 2010: Today, on Tuesday 6 April, Commissioner Cecilia Malmström will meet the Director of Amnesty International EU Office, Dr Nicolas J. Berger, to discuss Counter-Terrorism related issues as well as the development of a Common European Asylum System.
30 March 2010: "As from 5 April, the conditions for issuing visas for the Schengen area to third-country nationals will become clearer, more precise, transparent and fairer. Getting an EU visa will become faster. The EU Visa Code will ensure that the application of EU visa law is fully harmonised," Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affaires has said today.
29 March 2010: "In the 21st century, we should not have women and girls reduced to sexual slavery, children beaten and mistreated, forced to beg and to steal and young adults compelled to work in appalling conditions for hunger wages. These crimes are not acceptable under any circumstances. We must do everything possible to stop the people responsible for these acts," Commissioner Malmström said today as the European Commission proposed new rules to step up the fight against trafficking in human beings. The new proposal will help to combat modern slavery by ensuring consistency of national rules on crimes and penalties, better assistance for victims and tougher action to prosecute criminals responsible for trafficking.
29 March 2010: "Child sexual abuse" means children being subjected to horrendous crimes that leave deep scars for their whole lives. "Child sexual exploitation" means using children as sex objects and getting rich out of their suffering. "Child pornography" means images of children suffering sex abuse. Downloading or viewing child pornography on the internet leads to more children being raped to produce those images. The response of the EU cannot be too clear or too resolute. Whatever the EU can possibly do against that, the EU must do and will do." said Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström as the European Commission proposed new rules obliging EU countries to impose more severe punishment on those who sexually abuse children. The proposal also calls for criminal prosecution of activities like 'grooming' (befriending children with the intention of sexually abusing them) and "sex tourism", even if the child abuse has taken place outside the EU. The Commission also wants more to be done
24 March 2010: "Terrorism remains among the main threats that EU security has to face and we need to put in place tools that are up to the task, allowing for effective international cooperation" Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, responsible for Home Affairs has said today as the Commission adopted a draft mandate for negotiating bank data transfers with the United States government under the Terrorist Financing Tracking Programme (TFTP).
24 March 2010: On Thursday-Friday 25-26 March, Commissioner Cecilia Malmström will visit Stockholm. On the agenda are meetings with the Swedish Police authorities to discuss how EU effectively could combat trafficking and with Director-General of Sweden's Migration Board Dan Eliasson to discuss migration issues.
10 March 2010: Following the announcement by the US authorities to include Greece in the US Visa Waiver Programme, Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Home Affairs, said: "I warmly welcome the US decision to lift the Visa requirement for Greece. This decision goes in the direction indicated by the European Commission in its latest Visa reciprocity report by adding one more European Union's Member State to the US Visa Waiver programme (VWP). Greece's VWP designation is a step forward in the dialogue between the EU and the US to guarantee full visa reciprocity to citizens on both sides of the Atlantic. I urge the US authorities to include as soon as possibile in the VWP also Cyprus, Bulgaria, Poland and Romania whose citizens still don't enjoy the possibility to travel to the US without a Visa obligation".
24 February 2010: "Today's proposal will pave the way for more solidarity and better cooperation between EU countries. This will give us the opportunity to better deal with irregular immigration and human trafficking, while at the same time strengthening the safeguards to guarantee full respect of fundamental rights. I hope that the European Parliament and Council will move quickly to turn this proposal into law, so that the Agency can get the human and technical resources that it needs," Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said today as the Commission adapted the proposals to strengthen European Union's border management agency, Frontex.
16 February 2010: Following today's suspension of visa delivery by the Libyan authorities and the entry denial for EU citizens from Schengen countries, European Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, in charge for Home Affairs, stated:
11 February 2010: The Commission respects the decision taken by the European Parliament today to reject the Interim "SWIFT" (Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme - TFTP) Agreement. The Commission regrets the fact that the highly valuable information that this instrument would have provided for the fight against terrorism will not be available. The Commission will need to explore with the United States Treasury Department the extent to which there is scope to negotiate a long term EU-US TFTP agreement.
10 February 2010: Cecilia Malmström today represented the Commission in the debate in the European Parliament on the agreement between the EU and the USA on the processing and transfer of Financial Messaging Data (more known as the SWIFT Agreement).
10 February 2010: Welcome to my new website as Commissioner! I am very happy that the European Parliament decided yesterday, 9 February, to approve the new Commission, thus enabling us to start our work. Last night the European Council, that is the governments of all Member States, also appointed the new Commission.