Justice and Home Affairs Council on continued migratory pressures and Passenger Name RecordState Secretary Robert Marolt attended a meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 26 April 2012 in Luxembourg. The key topics discussed were migration, the proposal for a directive on the use of Passenger Name Record and readmission agreements.
The Mixed Committee approved a document on strategic EU response to continued migratory pressures. It is a document that introduces a comprehensive and systematic approach to this issue and lists the key challenges such as cooperation with third countries, improved external border management, abuse of legal migration, return policy, etc. Besides, it defines the goals we want to achieve and activities necessary to attain these goals. The document mentions the main operators of activities and the time schedule. It is very important for Slovenia that this document will be regularly updated and its implementation monitored. Otherwise, cooperation with the Western Balkan countries is of most interest to us, and we announced at the meeting that we would be discussing relevant measures from the document with these countries at the Brdo conference in May. We would like to hear their positions and proposals as to where and how this cooperation could be improved. Thus we could use this discussion to contribute to a future revision of the document.
The Council agreed on a general approach regarding the draft Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the use of Passenger Name Record data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime. The overall aim of the proposed directive is to determine a detailed legal basis for a compulsory EU-wide system that would set a record of flight passenger data and would be used for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime. Several member states pointed out the proportionality issue and during the meeting ministers and heads of delegations had differing views as to the use of the directive for the flights within the EU and the retention period. During the negotiations on the text of the Directive Slovenia also pointed out the proportionality of the measure and at the meeting we called on the Commission to provide funds from the EU budget for the implementation of the Directive provisions. State Secretary Marolt said that the present text provided a basis for negotiations with the European Parliament, which would pay special attention to the articles referring to personal data protection.
Readmission agreements with a particular focus on cooperation with Turkey in the area of justice and home affairs and visa policy were also discussed. The Commission reported on the state-of-play of the setting-up of SIS II, and the ministers looked at the progress of the establishment of the Common European Asylum System.