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Source: European Union

  • Council of the EU

Migration and asylum

Home affairs ministers had a first discussion on the recent Commission proposals for a pact on migration and asylum. They broadly agreed with the Presidency approach of moving forward on the new asylum and migration reform step by step.

Finding a fair, efficient and resilient solution for the management of migration and asylum is of pivotal importance for Europe’s future. To achieve this, we will all need to make compromises. Member states today expressed their full commitment to work towards this goal in the coming months.

Horst Seehofer, German Federal Minister of the Interior, Building and Community

The Presidency indicated its intention of holding orientation debates on three key and interrelated aspects: procedure before entering the EU, preventing abuse of the asylum system and solidarity. Its aim is to achieve political agreement on these aspects by the end of the Presidency. Work will also be taken forward on finalising key legislative files where a swift finalisation seems reachable. These are the Eurodac regulation and the EU asylum agency regulation.

Engaging with third countries on migration

Ministers took stock of the latest developments and initiatives to engage with third countries on migration, in particular regarding North Africa and the Western Balkans. They focused on two operational structures or platforms initiated in the past months.

A first platform to improve coordination between all relevant actors on the Eastern Mediterranean Route is being set up following a ministerial conference on 22-23 July which brought together several EU member states and the Western Balkan partners. Following a videoconference on 13 July which brought together a number of EU member states and North African partners, increased efforts are being made to operationalise cooperation in border management and on preventing and combatting migrant smuggling.

European police partnership

Ministers discussed the development of a strategic European Police Partnership to bring new impetus to police cooperation at EU level. They focused on the need to improve the existing security architecture in three areas:

  • Applying new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, to make better sense of the ever growing flow of data.
  • Reinforcing operational cooperation between police forces by consolidating the police cooperation acquis and making sure officers can easily know which cooperation tools are available to them
  • Building an active partnership with third countries, making sure we can cooperate efficiently while adhering to our values.

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