EU Justice and Home Affairs Council convenes to discuss security issues

Following the tragic events in Paris the Luxembourg Presidency, in coordination with French authorities, has convened an extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs Council Friday Nov-20 in Brussels. Starting at 10:00, both justice and home affairs ministers will ensure the follow-up of existing measures and discuss how to strengthen EU response.

The Council is expected to underline the importance of accelerating the implementation of all areas covered by the statement on counter-terrorism issued by the Members of the European Council of 12 February 2015 and in particular of the following measures:

– EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) directive: The Council is expected to reiterate the urgency and priority to finalise an ambitious EU PNR before the end of 2015.

– Firearms: The Council is expected to welcome the adoption of the implementing regulation on common deactivation standards and the proposal from the Commission to revise the current directive on firearms. The Council will invite Frontex and Europol to assist member states to increase controls to detect smuggling of firearms.

– Controls of external borders: Member states are expected to undertake to strengthening external border controls and to ensure our ability to detect any suspicious movement of individuals by improving the use of the existing databases and reinforcing the equipment and staff on the field.

– Information sharing: The Council will decide to step up law enforcement cooperation on counter-terrorism and member states are expected to commit to make maximum use of the current capabilities and data bases to improve the overall level of information exchange.

Terrorist financing: The Council is expected to invite the Commission to present proposals to strengthen, harmonise and improve cooperation between Financial Intelligence Units.

– Criminal justice response to terrorism and violent extremism: The Council will invite the Commission to present a proposal to update the Framework Decision on Combating Terrorism before the end of 2015 with a view to collectively implementing into EU law UNSC Resolution 2178 (2014) and the additional Protocol to the Council of Europe’s Convention on the Prevention of terrorism. It will also invite the Commission to allocate as a matter of urgency the necessary financial resources to support the development of rehabilitation programmes as well as risk assessment tools in order to determine the most appropriate criminal justice response.

– The Council is also expected to adopt, without discussion, a set of conclusions on enhancing the criminal justice response to radicalisation leading to terrorism and violent extremism.

Photo: Greece is represented by Alternate Minister of Citizen Protection Nikos Toskas., Source: EU Council