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Justice and Home Affairs Council, 6-7 June 2019: Returns, Migration challenges, data retention, e-evidence deal with USA and 5G
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See: Press release for 6-7 June: final (pdf)

Main "B" points agenda (for discussion, pdf), "A" Points - legislative (adopted without discussion, pdf), "A" Points - Non-legislative (adopted without discussion, pdf) and see: Background Note (pdf)


Returns Directive (Doc no: 9620-19, pdf) and see: Previous document (LIMITE doc no: 9097-19 , pdf)

Migration and asylum - future challenges::9511-19 (pdf) See also Ministerial statement on "migration challenges" keeps focus on control measures (Statewatch News):

Data retention Conclusions (9663-19, pdf)

Law enforcement and judicial aspects related to 5G (LIMITE doc no: 8983-19, pdf) See also: Press release: EU officials in a panic over the possibility of a world without wiretapping (link) and Analysis (pdf)

e-evidence agreement with the USA: ADDENDUM to the recommendation for a COUNCIL DECISION authorising the opening of negotiations with a view to concluding an agreement between the European Union and the United States of America on cross-border access to electronic evidence for judicial cooperation in criminal matters - adoption 9666/19 (pdf) and 9114-19 (pdf): COUNCIL DECISION authorising the opening of negotiations with a view to concluding an agreement between the European Union and the United States of America on cross-border access to electronic evidence for judicial cooperation in criminal matters.

See also: European Data Protection Supervisor: Opinion (pdf) The EDPS observes that the agreement relies on the "Umbrella Agreement" which did not include many of the points he raised.

It should also be noted that the EU has yet to adopt its own measures on e-evidence. The Council has adopted its "General approach" (negotiating position) but the European Parliament has not adopted its position.

Council gives mandate to Commission to negotiate international agreements on e-evidence in criminal matters (link)

EU: CCBE position on the Commission proposal for a Regulation on European Production and Preservation Orders for electronic evidence in criminal matters - CJEU ruling casts doubts on the legality of the proposed e-evidence regulation

According to the Court, “[t]hat independence requires that there are statutory rules and an institutional framework capable of guaranteeing that the issuing judicial authority is not exposed, when adopting a decision to issue such an arrest warrant, to any risk of being subject, inter alia, to an instruction in a specific case from the executive.” [emphasis added]

Visas and readmission

The Council agreed amendments to the: Regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code) (pdf)

This includes a new Article 25a "Cooperation on readmission" which will monitor country by country cooperation by third countries in accepting returns from the EU> Non-cooperation could be subject to "levers" on third countries who do not cooperate sufficiently to take back their own nationals, for example by delaying visa processing.

See: Statewatch Analysis: The EU goes to war with African “elite” (pdf)

And: Migration policy: Council agrees partial negotiating position on return directive (link):

"The aim of the proposed new rules is to speed up return procedures, prevent absconding and secondary movements, and increase the rate of returns. To achieve this, the partial negotiating position includes:

- clearer and faster procedures for issuing return decisions and for lodging appeals, including an obligation to issue a return decision at the same time or shortly after a decision ending a legal stay

- an obligation for persons subject to a return procedure to cooperate and the possibility of taking action in case of non-cooperation

- more efficient rules on voluntary returns, including an obligation to set up dedicated programmes in member states

- a common, non-exhaustive, list of objective criteria to determine the risk of absconding

- the possibility of detaining a third country national if they pose a risk to public order, public security or national security

- as a last resort, and when a series of guarantees are provided, the possibility of returning a third country national to any safe third country." [emphasis in original]

ID cards

The Council adopted the: Regulatiom on strengthening the security of identity cards of Union citizens and of residence documents issued to Union citizens and their family members exercising their right of free movement (pdf) and Press release: Better security for ID documents: Council adopts new rules (link)

See: Statewatch Analyses: Fingerprints in identity cards: who will oppose an unjustified and unnecessary proposal? (pdf) and Fingerprints in identity cards: unnecessary and unjustified (pdf)

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