Historic moment for Croatia: very first Presidency, you are now in the driving seat of the European Union and the Commission will do everything to make this a success. Thank you for hosting us in such a magnificent venue and city.
Excellent discussions today about some of the key priorities for the Union: keeping citizens safe, protecting our borders, combatting organised smuggling network and criminal organisations and stepping up the sharing of information between law enforcement agencies and border guards.
Citizens consider security to be as a top concern, where Member States should cooperate more at European level. They expect us to act together.
We must implement the decisions we have already taken. (On the EU information Systems and interoperability.)
We need to finalise our negotiations on pending proposals, like for example the one to combat terrorist content online.
But criminals and terrorists are not standing still. Neither should we.
Today I outlined an ambitious agenda on security, to help keep Europe safe for everyone.
We will improve EU police cooperation and information exchange.
By modernising, working better together and improving information exchange
By reinforcing mandate of Europol.
We will protect people against terrorism. By better protecting critical infrastructure for energy, transport, finance and health.
We will fight organised crime. There are more than 5,000 organised criminal groups currently under investigation in Europe. They produce 110 billion euros, of which only 1% is confiscated.
I am preparing proposals on freezing and recovering assets.
Drugs are a threat to individuals and families; and a cash-cow for organised crime. We are seeing more, cheaper and more potent drugs entering Europe and being produced in Europe. We need to coordinate our response and I will put forward a new EU Agenda on drugs.
We will also step up our efforts to combat firearms trafficking. Because illegal weapons fuel organised crime and give terrorists the means for carrying out attacks
Even worse than trafficking firearms is the trafficking of human beings.
We need to follow the digital developments. Crime and terrorism has moved online. They are developing tools very fast. Law enforcement cannot afford to stay behind. We will take steps to protect children against online abuse. Sharing information and connecting information systems is key and our European agency eu-LISA plays a crucial role to do that. We have two pending files in trialogue with the European Parliament on terrorist content online and on e-evidence. These are important responsibilities for the Croatian Presidency and I will facilitate as much as possible.
By spring, we will present a new pact on migration and asylum.
We need a workable and sustainable migration policy for Europe. It will have to bring unity where we had division in the past.
So far I have had 15 bilateral meetings with Member States; I have bilateral meetings scheduled with all.
And so far, so good. Colleagues want to find a way forward. There is a constructive approach from Member States.
I believe it is possible, to find a workable compromise to manage migration, that if it is not so welcomed, will be accepted by the Member States, thank you.