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    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Migratory crisis: EU Council Presidency steps up information sharing between member states by activating IPCR

    The Council has taken over the last weeks a number of decisions to respond to the current migratory crisis. The scale of migratory flows has demonstrated the need for a more coordinated information sharing. The Luxembourg Presidency therefore decided on 30 October 2015 to trigger the Integrated Political Crisis Response (IPCR) arrangements on an "information sharing mode". The aim is to monitor the development of migratory flows, to support decision-making and to better implement the agreed measures.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Nicolas Schmit set out the Council's position on the

    The Luxembourg Minister in charge of relations with the European Parliament throughout the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council, Nicolas Schmit, spoke on 28 October 2015 on behalf of the Council to the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg to discuss the "Smart Borders" package . He was responding to an oral question from the British MEP Claude Moraes (S&D). In his response, Nicolas Schmit stated that the creation of a European entry/exit system is "a necessary step to preserve the Schengen area".

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Speaking to the European Parliament, Nicolas Schmit replies to an oral question on the electronic mass electronic surveillance of European Union citizens

    On 28 October 2015, Nicolas Schmit, the Minister responsible for relations with the European Parliament during the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), addressed the plenary assembly in Strasbourg in reply to an oral question on the mass electronic surveillance of EU citizens. Nicolas Schmit reminded those present that the Council shared the European Parliament's concerns regarding the secret surveillance programmes and their impact on the private lives and personal data of EU citizens. The Minister stressed that while Member States must take steps to protect their citizens from terrorism and other attacks on their sovereignty, they must also protect fundamental rights.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · Press releases
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Félix Braz intervenes in the European Parliament’s on the reform of the statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union

    On 28 October 2015, the European Parliament voted during its plenary session in favor of an extensive reform of the statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union which doubles the number of judges of the General Court in 3 steps by 2019. This vote endorses a compromise text which is a result of informal meetings between the representatives of the four institutions: the Council of the European Union, the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Court of Justice. The Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) had approved the compromise on 21 October 2015.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    The meeting on the Western Balkans Migration Route results in a 17-point plan of action, certain aspects of which will be discussed again at the JHA Council of 9 November

    On 25 October 2015, an extraordinary meeting on the migrant crisis in Eastern Europe and along the Balkans route was convened in Brussels by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker. Jean Asselborn represented the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU. The Commission had sent to the invited States – eight EU states and three States with a European perspective – and agencies a draft project for actions which needed to be discussed during the meeting. This was placed under the sign of a 'determined and collective cross-border approach based on a European spirit and pragmatic cooperation between national, regional and local authorities'. Most of these proposals were agreed upon and translated into a 17-point action plan.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    On 25 October 2015, Jean Asselborn will represent the Luxembourg Presidency at the extraordinary meeting on the migrant crisis in Eastern Europe and along the Balkans route

    The Luxembourg Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Minister for Immigration and Asylum, Jean Asselborn, will participate in the extraordinary meeting on the migrant crisis in Eastern Europe and along the Balkans route, which will be held in Brussels on 25 October 2015, in order to represent the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU).

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    In the name of the EU, Félix Braz has co-signed the Council of Europe's Convention for the Prevention of Terrorism, and the additional protocol thereto, designed to address the problem of 'foreign terrorist fighters'

    On 22 October 2015, in the name of the EU, the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union co-signed the Council of Europe's Convention for the Prevention of Terrorism, and the additional protocol thereto, designed to address the problem of 'foreign terrorist fighters'. To mark the occasion, an international conference on foreign fighters was held on the same day in Riga. 'We must take steps to prevent violent extremism and to strengthen the resilience of our societies to any extremism, while respecting our fundamental freedoms', said Félix Braz in his opening address.

    • · Press releases
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Free circulation of public documents: Council confirms the agreement found with EP

    On 21 October 2015, the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) approved a compromise package agreed with the European Parliament on a regulation which will facilitate the free movement of citizens by simplifying the requirements for presenting certain public documents in the EU.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Repression alone will not be sufficient, argued Félix Braz as he opened the high-level conference dedicated to criminal justice response to radicalisation

    On 19 October 2015, justice ministers, judges, prosecutors, prison officials and other experts met in Brussels for a high-level conference dedicated to the criminal justice response to radicalisation. This conference, organised by the European Commission and the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, was aimed at facilitating an exchange of views on responses to the phenomenon of radicalisation, notably in prisons. "Violent extremism attacks the very foundations of our democratic society", stressed Luxembourg's Justice Minister, Félix Braz, in his introduction. As he pointed out, radicalisation, terrorism and foreign fighters are nothing new, but it is the scale of this phenomenon and context which are currently different. "The response that comes has to be embedded in the criminal justice systems and must obey to the rule of law", insisted the Minister.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    High-level conference on

    The high-level conference on "the criminal justice response to radicalisation" organised jointly by the European Commission and the Presidency of the Council of the EU, which was held on 19 October 2015 in Brussels, saw an exchange of views among policymakers, professionals and experts on effective intervention, the management and the practices of sentencing in order to avoid the spreading of radicalised ideas, inside and outside the EU's prisons, which could lead to acts of terrorism. One of the public events of this conference has been a discussion between eighteen European ministers on their national practices and their expectations towards and within the European Union. The debate revealed the extent of the issues raised.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Jean Asselborn and Dimitris Avramopoulos, during a visit to Greece, take stock of the implementation of the first

    Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg's Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, and Minister for Immigration and Asylum, travelled on 15 and 16 October 2015 to Athens and to Mytilene, on the island of Lesbos, where the first "hotspot" of the EU in Greece is being launched, together with the European Commissioner in charge of Migration and Home Affairs, Dimitris Avramopoulos. The visit to Greece, which follows the visits made last week to Rome and to Lampedusa, is part of the European response to the migration crisis and the decisions taken in that regard by the "Justice and Home Affairs Council" last September and October. The purpose was to take stock of the establishment of a hotspot on the island, as provided for by the European mechanism for relocation.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Nicolas Schmit speaks to the European Parliament about the consequences of the suspension of the Safe Harbour scheme that formerly governed the transfer of data between the EU and the USA

    On 14 October 2015, Nicolas Schmit, minister responsible for relations with the European Parliament during the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, spoke before the plenary of the assembly held in Brussels during a debate on the consequences of the 'Schrems' judgment of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU), and specifically on the transfer of data between the EU and the United States of America.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    In the run-up to the European Council, Nicolas Schmit addressed the European Parliament, highlighting the

    Minister Nicolas Schmit, responsible for relations with the European Parliament during the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, addressed the plenary session of the European Parliament held in Brussels on 14 October 2015. He spoke during a debate on preparations for the European Council of 15 and 16 October 2015, in the presence of the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker. "The European Council in October will once again be dedicated to the refugee crisis", which requires "shared solutions", stated the minister.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs, General Affairs
    In a letter addressed to Donald Tusk, Jean Asselborn informs the President of the European Council about the progress made by the JHA Council in the management of the migrant and refugee crisis

    In view of the European Council to be held on 15 and 16 October 2015 in Brussels, Jean Asselborn, the Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, Minister for Asylum and Immigration, who presides the "Justice and Home Affairs" Council (JHA), sent a letter to Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, to inform him on the progress made by the JHA Council in the management of the migrant and refugee crisis since the informal meeting of the European Council on 23 September 2015.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Jean Asselborn stressed the importance of external EU border controls, in a visit to Athens with European Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos ten days prior to the opening of the first hotspot in Greece

    On 10 October 2015, Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg's Minister for Immigration and Asylum visited Athens with Dimitris Avramopoulos, European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs, in order to gain insight into the management of the migration crisis, the day after a similar visit to Italy. Jean Asselborn stressed the importance of controlling EU external borders and registering persons entering the Union."Without rational and effective management of the external borders of the EU, the Schengen area will fall apart", he cautioned. He praised the fact that the first Greek hotspot should be in operation "within a week to ten days" in Mytilene on the Island of Lesbos.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Data protection for police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters: Council ready for talks with EP

    On 9 October 2015 the Council agreed its negotiating stance on the draft data protection directive. This draft directive is aimed at protecting personal data processed for the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal offences or the safeguarding against and the prevention of threats to public security. The agreement reached enables the Luxembourg presidency to start discussions with the European Parliament also on this part of the data protection package. "Today's agreement is a crucial step in view of concluding the EU data protection reform by the end of the year", stated Félix Braz, Minister for Justice of Luxembourg and President of the Council.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Foreign Affairs, Justice and Home Affairs
    Dimitris Avramopoulos and Jean Asselborn travelled to Italy for the first asylum seekers' departure under the new relocation scheme in response to the refugee crisis

    On Friday 9 October 2015, Jean Asselborn, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Minister of Immigration and Asylum of Luxembourg, accompanied Dimitris Avramopoulos, European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs, for the first 19 asylum seekers' departure under the new relocation scheme agreed by ministers in September. They addressed the press at Ciampino Airport of Rome accompanied by Italy's Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, a few minutes after the take off of the plane transporting a group of Eritrean refugees to Sweden.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    JHA Council – Ministers of Justice agree on the draft directive for the protection of personal data processed for purposes of law enforcement

    European Union (EU) Ministers of Justice met in Luxembourg on 9 October 2015 for the third session of the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council devoted to matters relating to justice. Chaired by Luxembourg's Minister of Justice, Félix Braz, the Council agreed on a general approach to the draft directive for the protection of personal data processed for purposes of law enforcement. The Ministers also adopted a partial general approach relating to a regulation establishing a European Public Prosecutor's Office. They discussed the accession of the EU to the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) and held a general debate on the migration crisis, focusing on aspects of judicial cooperation.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    JHA Council – Ministers adopted conclusions on the readmission and return policy

    On 8 October 2015, European Ministers for Home Affairs met in Luxembourg for the JHA Council devoted to migration and chaired by Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg Minister for Immigration and Asylum. The Council adopted conclusions on the readmission and return policy which focuses on the operational elements and provides a detailed overview of future action to be taken. It also approved a migration financial package which aims to fast-track the release of 400 million euros in funding commitments. The Ministers also addressed relocation, the EU return policy and the management of the EU's external borders. "We need a collection of measures and actions which, if implemented in parallel, will yield results", declared Jean Asselborn.

  • Updated 15-07-2015