Minister Hojs presents the priorities of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU at the EU-US Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting
Interior Minister Aleš Hojs attended the EU-US Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting in Lisbon today. At the meeting, he presented the priorities of the upcoming Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU in the field of justice and home affairs.
At the outset, ministers discussed security challenges, focusing on cooperation in the field of counter-terrorism, information exchange, violent extremism, hate speech and racism. A debate ensued on the challenges posed by digitisation, including in relation to crimes committed via the Internet, such as sexual abuse. The discussion also focused on investigating and prosecuting online crime and access to electronic evidence. They also touched on migration issues, the fight against smuggling and visa reciprocity.
Minister Hojs presented the priorities of the upcoming Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU in the field of justice and home affairs. In the area of home affairs, we will focus on strengthening the Schengen area and improving the protection of the EU’s external borders. In view of the wide range of dossiers inherited, comprehensive migration management will be our priority as well. We will seek to make progress in the negotiations on the new Pact on Migration and Asylum and to strengthen the EU’s role in the external dimension of migration, in particular by addressing the causes of migration. "We will continue to develop strategic partnerships with key countries of origin and transit. We will focus mainly on the Western Balkans region," the Minister said and continued: "Together with our partners, we should work towards joint management of migration flows, which could finally lead to success in areas where the results are currently not very encouraging, such as return.”
In addition, we will continue to work on legislative proposals, in particular the proposal for the Europol Regulation, where we will try to bring the negotiations to the most successful conclusion. "It is important that we are well prepared for numerous and rapidly changing security challenges and act preventively," the Minister stressed.
Ensuring a high level of security in the EU will be an important priority as well. "We believe this could be achieved through enhanced police cooperation, not only between the member states, but also with the neighbouring regions such as the Western Balkans," the Minister stressed.
The Minister also presented the priorities in the field of justice. The key theme will be the protection of human rights in the light of the challenges posed by new technologies and the use of the Internet, while the priorities include the fight against hate speech and hate crime, ethical aspects and the potential impact of artificial intelligence on fundamental rights, and the future EU-US Agreement on cross-border access to electronic evidence.
On this occasion, Minister Hojs invited Mr Alejandro N. Mayorkas, US Secretary for Homeland Security, to visit Slovenia during its Presidency of the Council of the EU. During the Presidency, two events will be organised in connection with cooperation with the US, namely the EU-US Senior Officials Meeting in Slovenia in September and the EU-US Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting in the US in December.