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Compromise Agreement with the European Parliament on the PNR Directive has been approved

Date

2015 12 07

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On 4 December Vice-Minister Elvinas Jankevičius attended the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting
On 4 December Vice-Minister Elvinas Jankevičius attended the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting

On 4 December the ministers of Home Affairs of the European Union (EU) member states considered further actions in the areas of the fight against terrorism, migration crisis management and functioning of the Schengen area.

During the Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting, the ministers approved the compromise text of a directive on passenger name record (PNR) which was agreed with the European Parliament after several years of negotiations.

“Collection and analysis of advance information about passengers is the necessary instrument for the law enforcement institutions of the European Union member states whilst fighting against terrorism. It is also particularly important for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of serious crimes”, – noted Vice-Minister Elvinas Jankevičius who participated at the meeting.

The European Parliament still has to vote for its final adoption, and, after its coming into force, member states will have two years to transpose provisions of the directive into national law. 

According to the Vice-Minister E. Jankevičius, Lithuania already has necessary technical equipment for the PNR system, which will include the internal EU flights. Our country is one of the fourteen member states which received the EU financing for creating national PNR system in 2012.

The EU ministers of home affairs also discussed the shortcomings of migration crisis and EU external border management and further actions to eliminate problems in these areas.

“Identification, registration of migrants, taking their fingerprints are essential conditions for ensuring security in Europe. We should not allow persons, who haven’t passed these procedures, to travel in the European Union. Unfortunately, this is not implemented a hundred percent today, but Greece is going to undertake extra measures which, we hope, would be helpful in settling these problems”, – E. Jankevičius said.

Seeking to strengthen control of its external borders, Greece has already activated the EU civil protection mechanism which grants the country humanitarian support it asks in case of emergency situations. FRONTEX is going to send its Rapid Border Intervention Team (RABIT) to the Greek islands. Besides, the FRONTEX experts of fingerprints will assist the Greek border guards with the identification of migrants at the Greek border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

During this Council meeting, the EU ministers of home affairs approved the compromise text of the Europol regulation agreed with the European Parliament. “It is one more significant step in the fight against terrorism and serious international crimes, as it will enable this important European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation to support national law enforcement institutions to carry out interstate investigations even more effectively,” – Vice-Minister E. Jankevičius pointed out.

The Justice and Home Affairs Council of 4 December is the last meeting of the ministers of home affairs during the Luxemburg’s Presidency of the EU Council. Since 1 of January 2016, the Netherlands starts its presidency of the EU Council.