Minister of the Interior Mykkänen to Informal Meeting of EU Justice and Home Affairs Ministers in Romania
Minister of the Interior Kai Mykkänen will attend the Informal Meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Ministers in Bucharest on 7 February. Topics on the agenda include the European Parliament’s report on terrorism and its recommendations, progress on the reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) and the future of the Schengen area.
Internal border controls are still in place in six Member States: Germany, Austria, France, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. This has provoked discussion on the functioning of the Schengen area. The home affairs ministers will discuss the Commission’s Roadmap 'Back to Schengen’, for example.
The ministers will also discuss whether the EU should agree on a temporary arrangement to distribute asylum seekers between Member States. Currently, for example the Mediterranean countries must rely on ad hoc arrangements when asylum seekers rescued at sea are transferred to other Member States.
The proposal to reform the Dublin system has not progressed in the European Union. The Dublin Regulation determines which Member State is responsible for examining an asylum application. Now it has been proposed that the Regulation be amended to also include provisions on a mechanism under which Member States would support over-burdened Member States.
The home affairs ministers will also deliberate whether the CEAS reform package should be opened and whether those proposals in the package on which agreement can be reached more easily should be taken forward.
"It would be important that we could take forward in the EU at least some of the proposals of the CEAS package. The pressure for reform is still high," says Minister Mykkänen.
The Informal Meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Ministers will also discuss returns of persons whose application for asylum has been rejected. Finland supports the idea that the European Commission would start negotiations on a readmission agreement with Iraq.
"We need more effective EU cooperation on returns. At the moment, Member States must deal with similar return questions on their own," Minister Mykkänen says.
Laura Yli-Vakkuri, Director General, tel. +358 40 720 22 16, [email protected]