Home Affairs (Thursday 6 December)
Today we have made good progress on a number of priority issues in the areas of migration and security. We also looked at the future financing of the tools we have been developing, and discussed the priorities in the area of Justice and Home Affairs for the next multiannual financial framework.
Herbert Kickl, Minister of the Interior of Austria
Terrorist content online
The Council agreed its negotiating position on the proposed regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online.
The proposed rules apply to hosting service providers offering services in the EU, whether or not they have their main establishment in the member states. These providers will have to remove terrorist content or disable access to it within one hour from receiving a removal order from authorities.
European Border and Coast Guard
The Council today agreed a partial general approach on a proposal on the European Border and Coast Guard, covering the provisions linked to return and cooperation with third countries. This agreement does not allow for the start of negotiations with the European Parliament, and is on the understanding that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.
The proposed rules will allow Frontex to provide technical and operational support to member states in return operations. They will also contribute to strengthening cooperation with third countries, by giving the agency wider scope for action and not limiting its possibilities for cooperation to neighbouring countries.
Ministers approved a comprehensive and operational set of measures with a law enforcement focus to step up the fight against migrant smuggling networks. This follows a call by EU leaders at their meeting in October.
The objective is to disrupt migrant smuggling networks both inside and outside the EU, taking into account their high level of adaptability and the increased interlinking of different criminal activities.
Justice (Friday 7 December)
e-Evidence will be on the agenda of justice ministers. They are expected to debate and reach an agreement on the Council’s position on the regulation aiming to improve cross-border access to e-evidence.
They will also be updated on the preparation of negotiating mandates for a second additional protocol to the Budapest convention, as well as EU-US negotiations on facilitating the access to e-evidence.
The Council will also discuss a general approach on the directive on contracts for the sales of goods. Its objective is to break down the barriers due to differences in contract law hindering cross-border trade. The directive covers both online and offline sales.
In addition, the presidency will present for agreement the revision of the so-called Brussels IIa regulation on cross-border parental responsibility disputes related to custody, access rights and child abduction.
The Council will also hear updates and state of play reports on a number of issues including data retention, the implementation of the EPPO and the EU accession to the European Court of Human Rights.