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Minister Mate: "We have justified the confidence placed in us during the Slovenian Presidency."

Dragutin Mate, Slovenian Minister of the Interior and President of the Justice and Home Affairs Council of the EU, presented the achievements of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council in the area of home affairs at the meeting of the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE Committee) in Brussels today.

Minister Mate said: "I am convinced that in the area of home affairs we have justified the confidence placed in us during the Slovenian Presidency. We did our utmost and demonstrated our abilities. The most important achievements were the adoption of the Return Directive, approval of the SIS II schedule and further enlargement of the Schengen area, strengthened police cooperation thanks to an improved flow of important information, transformation of Europol into an EU agency and the introduction of regional organised crime threat assessments. In the field of external relations we reached an agreement with the USA to continue talks on the visa waiver programme for entry into the USA and achieved a new approach to police cooperation between the EU and the Western Balkans."

The Slovenian Presidency concludes the Trio Presidency, which also included Germany and Portugal. Therefore, Minister Mate was joined by José Magalhães, State Secretary at the Portuguese Ministry of Internal Administration, and Peter Altmaier, State Secretary at Germany's Federal Ministry of the Interior. Together they presented the Trio's achievements at the meeting as well as at a press conference.


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Date: 27.06.2008