The Malta Independent 18 July 2024, Thursday
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EU-US Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting takes place in Malta

Friday, 16 June 2017, 19:20 Last update: about 8 years ago

 Valletta, the current seat of the Presidency of the Council of the EU, hosted the EU-US Ministerial meeting: a bi-annual meeting aiming at further strengthening the transatlantic relations between the EU and the US in the area of Justice and Home Affairs.

The European Union was represented by Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová, the Union Security Commissioner, Julian King, as well as Malta's Minister of Home Affairs and National Security, Dr. Michael Farrugia and Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government, Dr. Owen Bonnici on behalf of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The United States of America was represented by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and by the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Elaine C. Duke.

Both sides also exchanged views and took stock of recent European Union actions in the areas of migration, border management, and its role in ensuring internal security.

Minister for Home Affairs and National Security Michael Farrugia stated that the EU and US should strengthen the long standing and generally well-functioning cooperation in the field of information and intelligence sharing, while sharing and comparing good practices on how to deal with all returnees.

Minister Farrugia spoke about the strengthening of the EU's work on preventing radicalisation, encountering violent extremism while working in a holistic approach to confront IS, especially in a digital environment. During his intervention Dr Farrugia also acknowledged the enhancement of security and border management, and the various initiatives to disrupt the business model of migrant smugglers and other illegal operations including drugs and armaments. 

The issues of cyber-criminality and access to electronic evidence were also addressed, and both sides agreed on advancing cooperation in this area through the establishment of joint commitments between the European Union and the United States. Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Dr. Owen Bonnici underlined the volatility of electronic data and the global provision of such services, and held that "we need to mobilise all available resources and use all possible channels for cooperation ... to maximise the results of our common efforts." The enhancement of cooperation on preventing and combating transnational crime, as well as the issue of visa reciprocity between the EU and the US were also tackled.

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