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JHA Council approves conclusions on external border management, signs joint declarations on mobile partnerships with Moldova and Cape Verde and completes the integration of the Prüm Treaty into the Union's legal framework

The Justice and Home Affairs Council, meeting in Luxembourg, approved the Conclusions on managing the external borders of the EU Member States, which are the result of an interesting and fruitful discussion at the ministerial conference held in March at Brdo pri Kranju, which was based on three Commission communications. The conclusions determine short- and long-term guidelines for the development of the Frontex agency, as well as further steps as regards EU border management and the establishment of the European border control system. According to Dragutin Mate, Slovenian Minister of the Interior and President of the JHA Council, the proposed measures will strengthen control at borders and ensure the reliable identification of persons, while allowing for openness and accessibility of the European Union.

On behalf of the JHA Council, its President, Dragutin Mate, signed joint declarations on mobile partnerships with Moldova and Cape Verde, and said: "We have made an important step towards a comprehensive and balanced migration policy for the European Union. Mobile partnerships represent a new instrument in the global approach to migration and emphasise a practical form of cooperation with third countries. They include a series of different projects on migration and development, which have been created in the negotiation process based on the needs and capacities of the partners involved." In May 2007, as part of the global approach to migration, the Commission presented a Communication on circular migration and mobility partnerships, which triggered a discussion on the proposed new approaches to managing regular migrations of third-country nationals into the Union. In December 2007 the EU Council adopted conclusions calling upon the Commission to start, together with interested Member States, a dialogue with Moldova and Cape Verde on setting up pilot mobile partnerships. The key goal of all partners is to actively cooperate in the implementation of joint projects for improved management of migration flows and institution building. By the end of this year, mobile partnerships with Senegal and Georgia will be set up. The Commission will present a report on the implementation of mobile partnerships by the end of June 2009.

At the end of the morning session, the Council agreed on the general approach to the draft Council decision implementing Decision 2008/…/JHA on the stepping up of cross-border cooperation, particularly in combating terrorism and cross-border crime. Dragutin Mate, Slovenian Minister of the Interior and President of the JHA Council, stated that the Slovenian Presidency had managed to harmonise the text of the annex to the Implementing Decision, which contains technical rules and thus enables the completion of the integration of the entire Treaty of Prüm into the acquis communautaire.

Part of the Prüm Implementing Decision is a legally binding annex which comprises distinctly technical rules for setting up access to databases. A Friends of the Presidency group was established to prepare a harmonised text of the annex. The group met for the first time under the Portuguese Presidency and continued its work during the Slovenian Presidency of the EU Council, which succeeded in harmonising the text of the annex relatively quickly. The decision on the integration of the Prüm Treaty will serve as a basis for stepped-up cooperation in the exchange of data between police and judicial authorities of the Member States on DNA examinations, dactyloscopic data and data on vehicles that Member States keep in their national databases, by means of automated access. Such transmission of data is also envisaged in case of mass events and to prevent terrorist crimes. Minister Mate thanked the Member States for constructive cooperation in the integration of the Prüm Treaty into the Union's legal framework, which will make the European Union a safer place for its residents.


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Date: 05.06.2008