Informal meeting of justice and home affairs ministers 25-26 January 2018: Media Advisory

23.01.2018

The informal meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs ministers will be held on 25-26 January 2018 in Sofia. The meeting will start on 25 January with the home affairs working sessions, dedicated to migration and asylum, and to borders and security. On 26 January the meeting will continue with the justice working sessions, dedicated to the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) and to the Brussels IIa Regulation (Recast).

Agenda

25 January 2018 | Thursday

Informal meeting of home affairs ministers, chaired by the Minister of Interior of the Republic of Bulgaria, Mr Valentin Radev

08:15 - Arrivals at the National Palace of Culture and doorstep statements

09:00 - 10:30 - Working session I – Home Affairs

Migration and asylum

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 finalisation of the reform, in order to have a flexible, effective and reliable system, which will enable an adequate EU response to future challenges.

10:30 - Family photo

11:00 - 12:30 - Working session II – Home Affairs

Migration and asylum

11:30 - Press conference by Volker Türk, UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Protection

14:00 - 15:15 - Working session III – Home Affairs

Borders and security

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.

15:45 - 17:00 - Working session IV – Home Affairs

Borders and security

17:00 - 17:30 - Press conference – Home Affairs

26 January 2018 | Friday

Informal meeting of justice ministers, chaired by the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Bulgaria Mrs. Tsetska Tsacheva

08:30 - Arrivals at the National Palace of Culture and doorstep statements

09:00 - 10:30 - Working session I – Justice

European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO)

The first session in the Justice section will begin with a discussion on the future of the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO). The regulation for its establishment was adopted in October 2017, in the context of enhanced cooperation, in which Bulgaria, together with 19 other Member States, is currently participating. The establishment of the EPPO and its effective functioning is one of the main priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency. The focus of the discussion will be on the cooperation and interaction of the EPPO with other European agencies and services, including EUROJUST, OLAF and EUROPOL.

10:30 - Family photo

11:00 - 12:30 - Working session II – Justice

Brussels IIa Regulation (Recast)

During the second session the Ministers will discuss one of the main priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency: the proposal for a revised text of the so-called Brussels IIa Regulation concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility, and international child abduction (recast). Ministers are expected to share their views on the progress on this important legislative instrument in order to increase the promptness and effectiveness of cases for return of children abducted by a parent and the recognition of parental responsibility decisions in a Member State other than the state of the ruling.

14:30 - 15:00 - Press conference – Justice

Background

The working sessions in the home affairs area will be attended by 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, and 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). The working sessions in the area of justice will be attended by the EU Member States’ Ministers of Justice, the EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, and representatives of the Committee of the European Parliament on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) and the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI), Eurojust, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU.

Accreditation information

Accredited journalists can pick up their badges on the day prior to the event at the Registration Desk at Entrance B-2 of the National Palace of Culture between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.  Members of the press arriving in Sofia on the day of the event will be able to get their badges at the same entrance upon their arrival at the National Palace of Culture.  Only accredited members of the press will have access to the National Palace of Culture.

Press contacts

In Sofia: Veselin Jelev, [email protected], +359 883 990 247

In Brussels: Genoveva Chervenakova, [email protected], +32 473 575 083

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