On January 23, 2019, Minister of Home Affairs, Carmen Dan, presented to the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) in the European Parliament the priorities of Romania in the areas it coordinates during the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
“The Union is currently facing various challenges, both internal and external, such as BREXIT, the migration and security in its immediate neighbourhood and beyond the European continent. Therefore, the way we propose and which we want to pursue with consistency is more unity and cohesion. The European citizens must remain at the heart of the European project! Only in this way will we succeed in preserving and promoting the values of our European family”, the Romanian minister emphasized in the opening of the discussions regarding internal affairs.
Drawing attention that there are threats against which no state can defend itself, Mrs. Carmen Dan presented the Romanian Presidency’s objective of strengthening authorities’ cooperation for combating terrorism and radicalization, both online and offline. In this context, she said that in the area of combating radicalization, solutions need to be identified in order to prevent and properly manage the causes and not just the effects.
The Romanian official also underlined two initiatives of the Presidency in the field of internal affairs. The first concerns the development of police activity based on technology, mobility and information analysis, and the second aims at strengthening police cooperation and adapting it to the multicultural specificity of the communities formed at the level of the member states from citizens of other countries.
Regarding the management of the external borders and the functioning of the Schengen area, the Presidency will make efforts to find solutions in order to advance the negotiations concerning the strengthening of the mandate of the European Border Police and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex).
In the field of migration, the Romanian Presidency will continue discussions to identify consensual solutions regarding the European asylum system and the return policy for illegal immigrants. At the same time, efforts will be made to reach a political agreement regarding the immigration liaison officers in order to start the trialogue phase.
As far as visa policy is concerned, the Romanian Presidency will continue to work towards finalizing negotiations regarding the Community Visa Code and advancing discussions upon the Regulation aimed at reforming the Visa Information System. In addition, discussions will be stimulated within the EU Council, concerning the possible measures aimed at ensuring uniform training of the competent staff regarding the EU’s common visa policy.
Interoperability and implementation of the information systems developed at EU level are two other important topics for discussions on the agenda of this semester.
In the field of civil protection, the Romanian Presidency intends to finalize the works on the Union Civil Protection Mechanism, focusing on the necessary preparations of the EU and the Member States, in order to respond collectively to complex emergency situations that have a low probability of occurrence but can have a major impact upon our increasingly connected society.