Informal meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers will start on 25 January with Home Affairs working session, dedicated to migration and asylum, and to borders and security.
On 26 January the meeting will continue with Justice working sessions, dedicated to European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) and Brussels IIa Regulation (Recast).
Home Affairs Sessions – 25 January 2018
The working sessions of the Ministers responsible for home affairs during the Informal Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council meeting in Sofia will be held on 25 January 2018. The sessions will gather Ministers of the EU Member States, Ministers of the Schengen Associated Countries (Iceland, Norway, Switzerland), Commissioners Dimitris Avramopoulos and Julian King, EU Counter-terrorism Coordinator, representatives of the European Parliament, the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU, the European External Action Service and the EU agencies in the JHA area (EASO, eu-LISA, Eurojust, Europol, Frontex, FRA).
During the morning sessions, the Ministers will discuss the reform of the Common European Asylum System. The reform started in 2016 in order to address the unprecedented migratory crisis. The Bulgarian Presidency will work towards the finalization of the reform, in order to have a flexible, effective and reliable system, which will enable an adequate EU response to future challenges.
The working lunch of the Ministers will be dedicated to the global aspects of migration. The topic is included in the agenda in the context of the upcoming negotiations on the UN Global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration. The Ministers will discuss the main elements of the document, the ways to achieve a balance between the interests of the countries of origin, transit and final destination, as well as how to ensure result-oriented implementation of the global compact, taking into account its non-binding character.
In the afternoon sessions, the Ministers will discuss border management issues, in particular the political aspects of the Integrated Border Management concept. The discussion will be in the context of the need to strengthen border control – a crosscutting priority that is of key importance both to enhancing EU internal security and to better migration management. The debate of the Ministers will focus on issues such as cooperation with third countries, increasing the number of returns of illegally staying third country nationals, interagency cooperation in the context of border management, etc.