European public prosecutor - EPPO
Justice ministers discussed extensively the EPPO regulation. The overall majority of ministers reaffirmed their commitment to establish the public prosecutor and, pending some final technical work, supported the text as it now stands. However, the presidency took note of the different positions of delegations and concluded that these give a clear indication on the likely procedural way forward to ensure a positive conclusion on this file.
I am glad to see the commitment of the Council to establish a European public prosecutor's office. If we want to ensure that EU taxpayers money is well protected, including in cross border cases, we need a European prosecutor. I am confident that a positive conclusion is within reach in the next few months.
Lucia éitňanskŠ, minister for Justice of Slovakia and president of the Council
The European Public Prosecutor's Office regulation aims at helping combat crimes against the EU's financial interests.
Protection of the EU financial's interest - 'PIF'
The Council reached an agreement on the directive on the protection of the financial interest of the EU, paving the way for a formal adoption of the text in the coming weeks.
The objective of the so-called PIF directive is to deter fraudsters, improve the prosecution and sanctioning of crimes against the EU budget, and facilitate the recovery of misused EU funds, thereby increasing the protection of EU taxpayers' money.
Digital single market
Ministers provided guidance for further technical work on the directive regarding certain contractual aspects concerning the supply of digital content. In particular, they discussed the applicable rules to 'embedded digital content' (e.g. software included in so called smart fridges), on the definition and applicable rules for data other than personal data, and on the right balance in the legislation between subjective conformity criteria (i.e. criteria agreed in the contract) and objective conformity criteria (i.e. criteria stipulated in the law).
Home affairs, 9 December
European asylum system reform
The Council will discuss the reform of the common European asylum system.
In this context, the presidency will inform ministers about the state of play of all the related files, including:
the reform of the Dublin regulation
the proposed establishment of the European Agency for Asylum
The reform of the Dublin regulation aims to improve the system's capacity to determine a single EU country in charge of examining the asylum application request. It also seeks to ensure a fair burden-sharing by complementing the current system with a corrective system of refugees' allocation.
The European Agency for Asylum, when established, would build on the work of the existing European Asylum Support Office. It would be responsible for ensuring consistency in the assessment of asylum requests across the EU.
Ministers are also expected to agree on a mandate for negotiations with the European parliament on a draft Eurodac regulation. The regulation aims to adapt the Eurodac system to the proposed changes to Dublin rules.
Eurodac is a system that allows for a comparison of fingerprints of asylum applicants.
Fight against terrorism
Ministers will hear a presentation by Gilles de Kerchove, EU Counter-Terrorism coordinator, which will set out various policy options to tackle the issue of foreign terrorist fighters and returnees.
They will also discuss a proposal from France and Germany that seeks to improve cooperation between law enforcement agencies and telecommunications companies in the fight against terrorism.
The proposal aims to strengthen the legal obligation for telecom operators to cooperate with national authorities in criminal investigations. It wants to increase the speed of cooperation and improve the extraction of terrorism-related content.
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Justice and Home Affairs Council: Other meetings
Last reviewed on 08/12/2016
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