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EU-USA Justice and Home Affairs meeting focuses on "battlefield information and PNR", migration and border policy, and access to electronic evidence
14.7.19

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EU-USA: Outcome of proceedings of the EU-US Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting (Bucharest, 19 June 2019) (LIMITE doc no: 10430-19, pdf):

"Summary:

A constructive exchange on the traditional topics of mutual interest, which underlined the engagement of the two sides to pursue and develop further their cooperation, both at political and operational level. While reviewing recent developments and joint work in areas such as counter terrorism, migration, visa and border policy, the meeting was also an opportunity for both sides to discuss ways to expand their cooperation and best practice exchanges in areas like cybersecurity, removal of terrorist use of the internet, cross-border access to electronic evidence (e-evidence) and resilience of electoral systems." [emphasis added throughout]

"Counterterrorism

a) Information sharing, including use of battlefield information and PNR

Both sides committed to continue and expand their sharing of information for counterterrorism purposes. They acknowledged that returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters continue to represent a serious risk and hence the need to ensure that information available is fed into the relevant databases and then used for prosecution purposes. Delegations praised the strong level of cooperation between EU and US agencies in this area. Regarding the EU-US PNR Agreement, both sides agree that it is a crucial information tool and look forward to the joint evaluation to be undertaken still in 2019."

"Migration and borders policy

Both sides updated each other on developments of their migration and border policies. The EU delegation in particular explained in detail the changes introduced in the revised mandate of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, as well as on the implementation of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System. The Diplomatic Security Service of the US State Department presented a recent operation (conducted with support from Europol) in the Western Balkans to dismantle a crime organisation involved in the smuggling of migrants to Europe and America."

As usual there is a years old problem with visa reciprocity:

"Visa reciprocity

The EU delegation reiterated its position on the urgency of extending the US Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) to all EU Member States as a matter of reciprocity. The US acknowledged the efforts made by the EU Member States not yet covered by the VWP to meet the criteria. Both sides agreed to come back to the issue at their next meeting at Senior Officials level, based on the assessment of the replies by EU Member States to the "Request for Information" questionnaire."

5G and cyber security

"Cybersecurity - current challenges, including the mitigation of risks to the supply chain

Both sides discussed current threats to cybersecurity, with a particular focus on the security risks associated with the implementation of 5G networks. The US delegation provided information on its recent decisions to address the vulnerabilities of 5G, including its supply chain and called for the development of international benchmarks for the security of 5G networks, in line with the proposals of the Prague 5G Conference."

Although the EU has so far failed to adopt new legislation on access to e-evidence:

"Cross-border access to electronic evidence

The EU delegation provided details on mandate approved by the Council authorising the opening of negotiations in view of an EU-US agreement on cross-border access to electronic evidence for judicial cooperation in criminal matters. Both sides look forward to opening negotiations as soon as the United States approves its own mandate. Regarding the Second Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, the EU delegation informed the United States of the Council authorisation for participation in negotiations and both sides underlined the importance of the Protocol for setting international standards for direct cooperation with service providers."

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