Council discusses further action regarding foreign fighters
Meeting in Luxembourg on 9 and 10 October, home affairs and justice ministers held an in-depth discussion on the issue of foreign fighters. They also adopted conclusions on better managing migratory flows.
Following conclusions by the European Council in August 2014, ministers agreed on the urgency of finalising the EU passenger name record (PNR) directive and called on the European Parliament to adopt its position as soon as possible. They also agreed to improve checks at the external borders of the Schengen area, under the existing legal framework.
In addition, the Council decided on a number of specific actions that will accelerate the implementation of previously agreed measures. These previous measures include both the 22 points approved by the Council in June 2013 and the set of measures agreed by the ministers of interior of the member states most affected by this phenomenon.
Managing illegal migration
Ministers adopted conclusions on taking action to better manage migratory flows. These conclusions aim to define a sustainable approach, which will allow to go beyond the immediate emergency measures and respond to migratory pressure in a structural manner. This approach, which could be adapted to the specific needs of any situation, is based on three main areas of action:
- action in cooperation with third countries
- reinforced management of external borders and Frontex
- action at member states' level: reception and fingerprinting
The conclusions detail specific operational priorities to tackle migratory flows primarily in the Mediterranean region and call for their implementation by all players involved.
Council conclusions on 'Taking action to better manage migratory flows'
The Commission, Frontex and EASO briefed the Council on the latest developments regarding the implementation of the measures identified by the Task Force Mediterranean. In this context, the Council welcomed the launching by the end of this year of the EU-funded TRITON operation. This operation will reinforce border surveillance in the waters close to the Italian shores.
Other main items on the agenda
On the data protection reform, the Council reached a partial general approach on Chapter IV of the draft regulation. This chapter details the obligations of data controllers and processors.
Following the ruling by the European Court of Justice in Google vs Spain, ministers held a debate on the right to be forgotten.
The Council also held discussions on fighting serious and organised international crime, and on the proposal for a European Public Prosecutor's Office.