Main results of the Justice and Home Affairs Council
The Justice and Home Affairs Council of 25/02/2016 discussed the current migratory situation, including the monitoring of implementation of the measures already agreed at recent meetings of the European Council and Justice and Home Affairs Council.
Particular attention was devoted to current developments on the Western Balkans route. A working breakfast took place in the margins of the Council with those member states most concerned and the ministers of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia. The Council examined measures to prepare for the possible humanitarian consequences of the unilateral adoption of border measures.
Over lunch, ministers discussed cooperation with Turkey in the presence of the Turkish Deputy Minister of Interior.
Klaas Dijkhoff, Minister for Migration of the Netherlands said: "We can solve this crisis if all member states are ready to work together, as well as work with the countries on the Western Balkan route and with Turkey. Today we confirmed again the importance of cooperating with each other through the exchange of information, by implementing what has already been agreed, and by assisting each other to do so."
The Council welcomed the Commission communication of February 10, including the notion of safe third countries. The Council welcomed and supported Greece's intention to accelerate readmissions with Turkey on the basis of their existing bilateral readmission agreement (and soon on the basis of the EU-level agreement) as well as using the possibilities offered by Directive 2013/32/EU on inadmissible applications.
Schengen Borders code amendment
The Council agreed its negotiation position on a proposed regulation to reinforce checks against relevant databases at external borders. This regulation seeks to improve security inside the EU by making mandatory the current possibility of checks on EU citizens against all relevant databases.
Border and coast guard
Ministers took stock of the work on the proposal for a European border and coast guard. The proposed agency would bring together resources from Frontex and member states in order to monitor migratory flows, identify weak spots and respond in situations where the EU's external border is at risk.
The Presidency intends to reach a political agreement before the end of its term, as requested by the last European Council.
More information can be found on the website of the European Council.