Press Release - Asylum, data protection and cybercrime focal points for JHA
20.07.2012, 14:34 (CET)
The Third Annual Report on Immigration and Asylum (2011), the situation in Syria, as well as cybercrime and data protection, are some of the topics that will be discussed when the EU Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) meet for the Informal Meeting on the July 23 and 24 in Lefkosia (Nicosia).

On July 23 and 24, the Informal JHA Meeting under the Cyprus Presidency will take place at the ‘Filoxenia’ Conference Centre in Nicosia. The meeting will include the participation of Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs, the responsible EU Commissioners, Members of the European Parliament as well as participants from a number of EU agencies and International Organisations. Ministers of Interior Ms Eleni Mavrou and Minister of Justice and Public Order Mr Loucas Louca will be chairing the meeting.

The first topic on the agenda will be the Third Annual Report on Immigration and Asylum (2011).Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström is expected to present the Commission’s Third Annual Report on Immigration and Asylum (2011).EU Justice and Home Affairs Ministers will then exchange views on what they believe to be the future priorities in immigration and asylum, in light of the findings of the report. Given the current economic crisis, ministers will also look at ways in which the EU can better utilise the positive contributions of migration and mobility to contribute to the Union’s growth agenda. The Presidency will also look into ways on how the EU can optimise the link between migration and development in its relations with third countries, with a view to better managing migration flows and preventing and combating illegal immigration.

The situation in Syria

The situation in Syria is also on the agenda. Over the course of lunch, ministers will discuss the humanitarian and refugee crisis in the neighbouring regions to Syria following presentations by the UNHCR, IOM and the European Asylum Support Office (EASO). The discussion will centre on ways of strengthening international protection in these regions, with a view to examine the possibility of Regional Protection Programmes in the areas that host the majority of those fleeing the political and civil conflict in Syria.

The Presidency aims to explore ways in which the EU and its member states can best contribute in assisting the countries neighbouring Syria in their efforts to deal with persons displaced by the conflict there and how EASO could participate  in the future to better prepare the adoption of solidarity measures where necessary. Finally, participants will discuss the approach of the Member States regarding displaced persons already in their territory.


The developments surrounding the topic of cybercrime will be discussed. Starting from the fundamental question of how the European Union can substantially contribute to an effective response to cybercrime”, Ministers will be invited to discuss the key features and main successes of national strategies dealing with cybersecurity and cybercrime. They will also focus on a number of specific issues, such as removing procedural obstacles to undercover investigations in order to enable prosecution of perpetrators in the "dark areas" of cyberspace.

Data Protection

How best to protect the personal data of EU citizens will also come under discussion during the meeting. The basic aim of the Cyprus Presidency is to politically spur and direct discussion on the issue which has so far been discussed mainly at a working group level, with particular focus on issues that the majority of the member states have expressed concerns.  The Ministers of Justice will look, inter alia, at ways in which the proposed reform of EU data protection rules strengthens individuals’ rights without imposing disproportionate administrative burdens on companies and organisations processing personal data.

Lastly, the Council will discuss the Freezing and Confiscation of Proceeds of Crime in the EU and the European Account Preservation Order to facilitate cross border debt recovery.

Presidency Spokesperson in Cyprus
Kostas Yennaris

Email: cyennaris@cy2012eu.gov.cy
Mobiltel: +357 99400234
EU Affairs Counsellor
Elena Panayiotou

Ministry of Justice & Public Order
JHA Council & CATS Committee Coordinator
Email: epanayiotou@mjpo.gov.cy
Telefon: +357 22805982
Administrative Officer
Andreas Constantinou

Ministry of Interior
JHA Councils Coordinator
Email: aconstantinou@moi.gov.cy
Telefon: +357 22867691
Communications Officer
Lefki Solomontos

Ministry of Justice & Public Order

Email: lsolomontos@mjpo.gov.cy
Telefon: +357 22805996
Communications Officer

Ministry of Interior
EU Affairs Unit
Email: ckapardis@moi.gov.cy
Telefon: +357 22867721