EU: Extraordinary meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council to discuss Mediterranean crisis: official documents

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The Justice and Home Affiars Council (interior and justice ministers of EU Member States) is meeting today to discuss the EU response to the ongoing migration crisis. Here you can find official documents related to the meeting, both public and leaked.

  • Background Note (pdf)
  • "A" Points, nodded through without discussion:
    Agenda (pdf)
  • "B" Points for discussion: Agenda (pdf)

    The "A" Points Agenda contains the following two documents:

  • Council Decision establishing provisional measures in the area of international protection for the benefit of Italy and of Greece
  • Draft Council Conclusions on alerts in the SIS for the purpose of refusing entry and stay pursuant to Article 24 of the SIS II Regulation upon a return decision (pdf), which encourages Member States to use more entry bans.

    The "B Points" Agenda deals with the following:

    4. European Union action
    (a) Presentation of the proposals adopted by the European Commission on 9 September 2015

  • 11877/15: High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy: Communication: Addressing the Refugee Crisis in Europe: The Role of EU External Action (pdf)
  • 11843/15: European Commission: Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL establishing a crisis relocation mechanism and Annex (pdfs)
  • 11844/15: European Commission: Proposal for a Council Decision establishing provisional measures in the area of international protection for the benefit of Italy, Greece and Hungary and Annexes (pdfs)
  • 11845/15: European Commission:
    Proposal for a establishing an EU common list of safe countries and Annex (pdf)
  • Brief background: Migration crisis: EU discussing common list of "safe countries of origin" and resettlement programmes
  • 11885/15: European Commission: Communication: Public Procurement rules in connection with the current asylum crisis (pdf)
  • 11846/15: European Commission: Communication: EU Action Plan on Return (pdf)

    (b) Immediate action and future work

  • 11927/15: The title and content of this document are currently unknown.
  • 11782/1/15 REV 1: Presidency:
    Migration: EU action, state of play and next steps (pdf, 11 September 2015) and see the previous version (11782/15, 9 September 2015):
    Migration: EU action and state of play (pdf)

    The final document, drafted by the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council, includes:

    "(8) Those claiming for asylum have to be immediately channelled into an asylum procedure relying on the EASO support teams. Registration and fingerprinting of migrants have to be closely linked to effective return policies for those who do not need protection. Frontex will help Member States by coordinating the return of irregular migrants.

    "(9) The deficiencies of the current system of fingerprinting, whereby incoming migrants claiming asylum cannot be forced to give their fingerprints, should be addressed by fully using or eventually amending relevant asylum legislation. In the meantime, the guidelines to facilitate the systematic taking of fingerprints as agreed by Member States should be followed thoroughly, including, if necessary, through the application of Article 15 of the Return Directive on detention. The Council could ask the Commission to elaborate an operational code of conduct for law enforcement officers and provide for appropriate training."

    The drafting of an "operational code of conduct" would be a step further than the currently-existing "best practices". See: Fingerprinting by force: secret discussions on "systematic identification" of migrants and asylum seekers

    The Presidency document also notes that Stage 2 of EUNAVFOR is ready and there is likely to be agreement on moving to: "the next phase of the operation, focusing on conducting boarding, search, seizure and diversion on the high seas of vessels suspected of being used for human smuggling or trafficking."

    Statewatch comments: "It is not clear that the Council is aware, despite the Stage 1 intelligence-gathering, that only refugees are in the boats crossing into Greece from Turkey and that the motorised rubber-dinghies are destroyed after everyone is safely ashore."

    News coverage and other links:

  • EU tries again on migration plan (Politico, link)
  • EU Refugee Crisis Quota Plan Rejected By Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia And Poland (International Business Times, link)
  • UNHCR statement ahead of EU Council of Interior Ministers Meeting (UNHCR, link)
  • Open Letter to the French President on the reception of refugees and migrants in France and in Europe (Euromedrights, link): "France must adopt courageous decisions without delay, that is to say it must do so at the meeting of the EU interior ministers on 14 September."
  • Open Letter to the EU, EU Member-States and the Extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs Council called for September 14, 2015 (European University Institute Undersigned, published by Open Democracy, link)


  • European Commission proposals on refugee crisis (September 2015)
  • EU: MED-CRISIS: European Commission's positions: "safe countries of origin", "Hotspot pre-removal centres" & Frontex as a "removal Agency (July 2015)

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