Notices and memo
Memo: Informal Meeting of Home Affairs Ministers (7 - 8 July, Bratislava)
I. Migration as a matter of global responsibility
Migration flows, being a global phenomenon in both its causes and its consequences, should become a matter of global responsibility. On 19 and 20 September 2016, we are expecting an important step towards such perspective – the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting to address large movements of refugees and migrants followed by the Leaders’ Summit on the Global Refugee Crisis, in New York. Ministers will discuss what elements should be highlighted at the High-Level Meeting and at the Leaders’ Summit as particularly important to the EU.
II. Schengen borders fit for the future
The way external borders are managed affects the entire Schengen area and events at the external borders impact the internal ones. The European Border and Coast Guard should allow the Schengen area to better address the challenges it faces. That includes the cooperation with neighbouring countries which remains essential to a successful border management. Ministers will discuss the implementation of the European Border and Coast Guard Regulation as well as interaction of the new Agency with neighbouring countries.
Advanced technology is essential to modern border management. We cannot run the risk of relying on outdated technology. The Presidency attaches great importance to the Smart Borders project and is committed to bringing it closer to reality. In the long run, it should also enable us to move from the nationality-based risk assessment, which is the conceptual basis of visa policy, towards risk assessment based on individual characteristics and travel history. Ministers will discuss how the system should look like.
III. Reforming the Common European Asylum System – the way ahead
The Commission’s legislative proposals, both those already adopted and those expected in the nearest future, aim at improving many aspects of the CEAS. One of the leading concepts of the proposals is solidarity. Ministers will discuss both, a vision of a unified set of responsibilities assigned proportionally to Member States, and a vision of flexibility, taking into account different capabilities and conditions of Member States enabling them to provide solidarity by different means.
The package of asylum proposals submitted by the Commission is one of the most important elements of the legislative work ahead. The Presidency’s intention is to manage the work within the Council in an intensive, diligent and constructive way with a view of agreeing on within the Council and engaging with the European Parliament as soon as possible. The proposals should be considered as functional parts of a whole and systemic interconnections between them need to be taken into account.
IV. Fight against terrorism is only possible with correct and up-to-date information
Fight against terrorism requires timely information. This depends on information exchange and using the EU databases by the competent authorities of Member States. Ministers will discuss how to further strengthen this cooperation and the importance of using the existing channels.