Thu. Oct 6th, 2022

Prague, 11 July 2022

On 11 July 2022, Prague hosted an Informal Meeting of Home Affairs Ministers of EU Member States. Ministers discussed security consequences of the war in Ukraine as well as enhancing the fight against child sexual abuse.

The informal meeting in Prague was organised under the auspices of the Czech Presidency of the EU Council. The first item discussed were threats for the internal security resulting from the Russian aggression against Ukraine. The Ministers of the Interior of Ukraine and Moldova also took part in this meeting. The current situation has not only resulted in a refugee wave into the EU and internal displacement but is also affecting the internal security of EU Member States. The Ministers discussed the need for close cooperation with Ukrainian and Moldovan authorities as well as the ways to help these countries in coping with increased security risks.

The EU Member States, Ukraine and Moldova should therefore systematically exchange data on the investigations of human trafficking, document forgery, money laundering, arms trafficking, organised property crime, and other types of crime as well as on hybrid threats related to the war in Ukraine. Europol, Frontex, and Eurojust should play an important role in sharing information with Ukraine and Moldova.

Russian aggression against Ukraine has clear consequences for the safety of EU countries. Systematic information exchange can help us to ensure that our security does not deteriorate. Our help to neighbouring countries, including Ukraine is also an investment in the security of all of us.

Vít Rakušan1st Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior

The second major topic of this ministerial meeting was enhancing the prevention and fight against child sexual abuse, particularly in the context of the regulation recently proposed by the European Commission. The new regulation should set uniform rules for online service providers that would oblige them to detect and report online child sexual abuse material.

“Protecting our children is the number one priority. There are up to 750 thousand predators involved in the child abuse trade on the internet. That is why we need to finalise the regulation that will set uniform rules in the online environment“ Vít Rakušan added.

The new legislative framework proposed by the European Commission should enable better prevention and punishment of child sexual abuse. According to the Commission’s proposal, a coordinating body should be set up in each Member State, which will be responsible for implementing and enforcing the regulation and for ensuring coordination at national level. The draft regulation also includes the establishment of an EU Centre against Child Sexual Abuse.

Other topics discussed included the interoperability of EU information systems and the way forward as regards the reform of EU migration and asylum policy.

The EU Support Hub for Moldova, which aims at deepening EU-Moldova cooperation in the areas of security and border management, was officially launched at the meeting. The EU and Moldovan authorities, including representatives of Frontex, Europol and the Moldovan Police, will participate in the project directly in Chisinau. The support will focus primarily on issues related to migrant smuggling, firearms trafficking, human trafficking, cybercrime and drug trafficking.

In addition to EU Interior Ministers, the European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson, representatives of Schengen associated countries, the Interior Ministers of Ukraine and Moldova, representatives of the European Parliament and EU agencies also attended the meeting.

Source – Czech EU Presidency

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