On 9 and 10 October, the justice and home affairs ministers met in Luxembourg to hold a meeting of the JHA Council. The main topic on the agenda was the emerging threat of persons returning from Iraq and Syria where they fight for the jihadist groups. Several states are preparing legislation which would prevent these persons from returning home and posing a threat for the security. The Council discussed actions on EU level. The ministers urged the European Parliament to adopt its position on the controversial Passenger Name Record directive. This legislation would monitor also intra-EU flights and has been in the EP for two years now. The MEPs fear privacy intrusions. The ministers would also like the Schengen Information System, national police databases and Interpol resources linked. Also, documents of persons entering the Schengen area should be checked electronically and more thoroughly and systematically. Most importantly, the border checks are to be strengthened to tackle the risk of increasing numbers of returning jihadists, since USA and its allies started airstrikes against jihadist positions in Iraq and Syria.
The ministers discussed also other issues, such as illegal immigration, data protection reform, right to be forgotten or the European Public Prosecutor´s Office.
6th October 2021
9th July 2021