Senior officials of the EU and the US discussed fight against terrorism, migration, security and cyberspace issues in Sofia

01.03.2018

Countering terrorism and radicalisation, cooperation in the areas of migration, borders and visas, security in cyberspace and e-evidence, data protection, anti-money laundering and terrorism financing were discussed at the EU-US justice and home affairs (JHA) senior officials meeting.

The event, which was held on 26-27 February 2018 in Sofia as part of the calendar of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU, was an opportunity to exchange views in preparation of the forthcoming EU-US JHA Ministerial Meeting, which will be held in May 2018 in Sofia.

The senior officials discussed the topic of counterterrorism, focusing on operational cooperation and information sharing, passenger name records (PNR) and aviation security, as well as countering radicalisation.

They reviewed the cooperation in the areas of migration, borders and visas, inter alia the measures to counteract migrant smuggling, interoperability of information systems, etc.

Counterterrorism was a topic for discussion also during the justice sessions where the focus was put on measures against money laundering and terrorism financing.

The officials furthermore discussed the fight against drug trafficking and judicial cooperation in criminal matters.

Another major topic of discussions was cybercrime. With respect to WHOIS, the system that registers who is responsible for a given domain name, the participants discussed the developments in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which has undertaken to revise its procedures. They emphasised the critical nature of WHOIS for achieving public interest objectives, such as combatting criminal offenses online, protecting the rights of intellectual property holders, enhancing cybersecurity and consumer protection. Participants stressed the need to preserve the functionality of WHOIS and access to its information while complying with data protection rules.

After the discussions in Sofia, participants visited Kapitan Andreevo BCP, which was an opportunity to present the continuous efforts of Bulgarian authorities to protect the EU external borders.

Background

Traditionally, at the EU-US meetings the European Union is represented by the Presidency, the European Commission, the European External Action Service and the General Secretariat of the Council and as well as Europol and Eurojust. The US is represented by the relevant departments responsible for home affairs and justice issues.

More photos here.

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