From left to right: Mr Valentin RADEV, Bulgarian Minister for the Interior; Mr Michael FARRUGIA, Maltese Minister for Home Affairs and National Security. Photo: European Union
With Bulgarian Minister of the Interior Valentin Radev as Chair, the ministers of the interior of the EU Member States today took stock of the progress made by the Bulgarian Presidency on the reform of the Common European Asylum System. At their meeting, held during the second day of the Justice and Home Affairs Council in Luxembourg, ministers discussed the need to find the right balance between the principles of responsibility and solidarity in the context of the reformed Common European Asylum System. The results of today's discussion, together with the Bulgarian Presidency compromise proposal for the reform of the Dublin system – one of the dossiers within the package - will serve as the basis for further work in the run-up to the European Council meeting at the end of June.
Commenting on the outcome of today's discussion, Minister Radev said:
"Today we have had a frank discussion on fundamental aspects of the asylum reform. We are no longer in the crisis situation we faced in 2015, but we must still make sure we are ready to face any future crises. Discussions will now be continued by EU leaders on the basis of the work done so far."
The Common European Asylum System consists of six pieces of legislation. During its Presidency, Bulgaria has significantly advanced work on all of them and plans to finalise the negotiations on three of the outstanding files by the end of June. These are the Reception Conditions Directive, the Qualification Regulation and the Resettlement Framework Regulation.
The focus of the Presidency's efforts has been the reform of the Dublin system. At the request of European leaders in October 2017, the Presidency reworked the text in such a way that it would reflect the concerns and proposals of all Member States. The Presidency experts prepared a legally sound compromise which seeks to strike the right balance between responsibility and solidarity and provides Europe with the tools it needs to respond to future challenges.
Furthermore, ministers for home affairs today discussed the proposal to reform the common EU visa rules, known as the Visa Code, focusing on the link between visa policy and readmission. In the afternoon, they looked at the results achieved by the first EU policy cycle for organised and serious crime which ran between 2014 and 2017. A third discussion was held on possible opportunities for further cooperation between competent authorities dealing with counter-terrorism. Finally, ministers listened to and discussed a report on cooperation between the EU CSDP missions and the EU JHA agencies.
More information about today’s meeting is available here.
Pictures and videos are here.