The Justice and Home Affairs Council (JHA)

The Justice and Home Affairs Council (JHA) deals with the European Union’s policies on crime, judicial cooperation, police cooperation and cooperation on immigration, borders and asylum issues.

The Justice and Home Affairs Council develops cooperation and common policies on various cross-border issues, with the aim of building an EU-wide area of freedom, security and justice. Such issues include the guarantee of fundamental rights, the free movement of citizens, civil protection, asylum and immigration matters, joint investigations on cross-border organised crime and the European Security Strategy which includes the fight against terrorism, organised crime, cybercrime and violent radicalisation.

One of the priorities of the JHA Council is the fight against terrorism through the creation of an EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator in 2007 as well as the fight against foreign fighters. In this area, the EU is currently developing a legislation concerning the use of passenger name record data (PNR) for the purpose of law enforcement. In this context, the data protection reform is also an important element.

The Justice and Home Affairs Council, which meets every three months or twice each Presidency, is made up of justice and home affairs ministers from all the EU member states. In general, justice ministers deal with judicial cooperation in both civil and criminal law and fundamental rights, while home affairs ministers are responsible for migration, border management and police cooperation, among other matters. It is customary for each Presidency to host an Informal meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers.

Other important issues are the management of migration flows, the protection of illegal asylum seekers as well as the prevention of illegal migration.

As agreed in the EU treaties, Denmark, the United Kingdom and Ireland do not fully participate in the implementation of certain measures relating to justice and home affairs, or their participation is subject to certain conditions.

  • Updated 22-06-2015