EU: Document digest: internal border controls, "common risk indicators" at the external borders, organised crime action plans, human trafficking report

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A selection of EU documents: Member States' replies to a questionnaire on the temporary reintroduction of border controls; Frontex's efforts with Europol to support the introduction of "common risk indicators" at the EU's external borders; an overview of Operational Action Plans (OAPs) on organised crime; and a report by Europol on human trafficking in the EU.

NOTE from: the Presidency to: Delegations: Summary of replies to the questionnaire regarding the temporary reintroduction of controls at internal borders (14800/15, 1 December 2015): "In order to prepare the Council debate on 3-4 December 2015, the Presidency invited delegations to reply to a series of questions in relation to the re-introduction of temporary controls at internal borders.

Twenty-seven Member States and Schengen Associated Countries replied to the questions (AT, BE, BG, CY CZ, CH, DE, DK, EE, EL, ES, FI, HR, HU, IT, LT, LU, LV, MT, NL NO, PL, PT, RO, SE, SI, SK); their replies are summarised below."

NOTE from: Frontex to: Standing Committee on Operational Cooperation on Internal Security (COSI): Frontex support to the operationalisation and coordinated implementation of the Common Risk Indicators (14425/15, 23 November 2015): "The Common Risk Indicators (CRIs) were established to provide for risk analysis that would justify border checks on persons enjoying the community right of free movement. Since Frontex’s role, as also described by the Counter-Terrorism Coordinator (CTC), is primarily to support the operationalisation and implementation of the finalised CRIs by Member States, their needs in this regard seem to be the obvious starting point for Frontex.

According to the Presidency document (12540/15) on the application of the CRIs by Member States, the use of the CRIs is widespread and they have been integrated in the daily activities of border guards through national products or practices. These products are also being updated with operational information and intelligence from security authorities. In some Member States, awareness has also been increased through training activities.

Furthermore and importantly, Member States, based on their risk analysis, have increased checks on persons enjoying the right of free movement.

The findings of the Presidency document suggest that the implementation of the CRIs is well on track. However, the CTC also made a critical analysis with regard to the progress considering that the rate of checks against the volume of passenger flow varies considerably between Member States as presented by him in the COSI on 16 November. Furthermore, the CTC underlined the limitations of Frontex’s mandate that may prevent it from having a leading role in the coordinated implementation of the CRIs."

NOTE from: General Secretariat of the Council to: JHA Counsellors/COSI Support Group and COSI: Operational Action Plans 2016 related to the EU's priorities for the fight against serious and organised crime between 2014 and 2017 (14861/2/15 REV 2, 22 December 2015): "As foreseen by the mechanism of the EU policy cycle for organised and serious international crime1, the third Operational Action Plans (OAPs) for the new cycle 2014-2017 have been created.

They have to be produced on a yearly basis and contain actions in line with the Multi-Annual Strategic Plans2 that have been set to achieve the new political priorities set by the Council in June 20133"

The priorities are: "illegal" immigration, trafficking in human beings, counterfeit goods, excise fraud, Missing Trader Intra-Community (MTIC) fraud, synthetic drugs, cocaine, heroin, cybercrime (card fraud), cybercrime (child sexual exploitation), cyber attacks, firearms, organised property crime (OPC).

NOTE from: Europol to: Delegations: Situation report on trafficking in human beings in the EU (15067/15, 8 December 2015): "The extent of THB within the EU is hard to assess. Human exploitation can be hidden behind other criminal offences, such as prostitution, irregular migration, property crime or even labour disputes. Victims are often exploited in multiple ways or may be involved in other illicit activities, resulting in cases of THB not being investigated or recorded as human trafficking. Moreover, differences in national legal definitions of THB hinder the comparison and assessment of common trends and patterns across the EU."

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