Press Release – Common European Asylum System and the fight against organised crime on the JHA agenda
05.12.2012, 11:44 (CET)
EU Ministers will meet for the final Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting under the Cyprus Presidency on December 6 and 7 in Brussels. Among the issues to be discussed are the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) and the mid-term review of the Stockholm Programme. In the area of Justice, the Council is close to adopting the proposal on the freezing and confiscation of proceeds of crime aiming at combating organised crime. Moreover, an important step is expected to be taken towards enhancing protection to the victims of crime, as the Council is heading towards a general agreement on the proposal for a regulation on European Protection Measures in civil law.

Cyprus’ Minister of Interior, Ms Eleni Mavrou, and Cyprus’ Minister of Justice and Public Order, Mr Loucas Louca, will chair the meeting. The meeting will include the participation of EU Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs and EU Commissioners of Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, Ms Viviane Reding, and of Home Affairs, Ms Cecilia Malmström.

Intensive efforts to complete the Common European Asylum System  in 2012

The Council will be informed on the latest state of play regarding the on-going developments for the completion of the CEAS. Specifically, reference shall be made to the Dublin and Eurodac Regulations and the Asylum Procedures Directive.

Regarding the possibility of completing the procedures aimed at the formation of a CEAS by the end of 2012, Ms. Mavrou stated: “We believe that significant progress has been achieved during this year and we will continue to work intensively on the remaining issues. Our goal of completing the CEAS by the end of the year remains a difficult task but we believe we can bring this to completion or at least very close to its completion, provided that everybody works together towards this end.”

Significant progress has been made on the legislative proposals for the establishment of a CEAS during the Cyprus Presidency. The Council and the European Parliament (EP) have already reached an agreement on the Qualification Directive, the Reception Conditions Directive and the Dublin Regulation while negotiations on the recasts of the Eurodac Regulation and the Asylum Procedures Directive have entered their final phase. The Council is expected to adopt the Political agreement on the Dublin Regulation, which will confirm the agreement that was reached between the Council and the EP. Moreover, the Council is also expected to take note of the progress achieved on the legislative proposals in the field of asylum and to instruct the Council’s preparatory bodies to continue work in keeping with the commitment of establishing the legislative framework for a CEAS by the end of 2012.

Cyprus Presidency presents assessment of the Stockholm Programme

During the Council’s joint session (Home Affairs and Justice), the Stockholm Programme mid-term review will be examined. Stockholm Programme provides a roadmap for European Union (EU) work in the area of justice, freedom and security for the period 2010-14. The European Council adopted the Stockholm Programme in 2009 and asked that a mid-term review of its implementation be made in the course of 2012. The Cyprus Presidency wishes to contribute to the review by submitting a progress assessment document and will invite the Council to indicate priorities for taking forward the implementation of the Stockholm Programme on the basis of this overview.

Enhancing measures against organised crime

The proposal for a directive on the freezing and confiscation of assets from proceeds of crime had been a key priority of the Cyprus Presidency from the outset. In this context, intensive discussions have taken place both at political and technical level in recent months. 

The JHA Council is close to a general agreement on the proposal, which can drastically contribute to eliminating financial incentives for criminals. Inter alia, the directive enables Member States to confiscate assets without previous conviction under certain circumstances, as well as assets that do not constitute the direct proceed of a crime, yet they are disproportionate to the income of a person convicted for a serious crime.    

Protection to the victims of crime in civil matters

The expected adoption of the proposal for a regulation on European protection measures in civil matters brings the EU another step closer to better victims’ protection. It virtually ensures that the victims, even when travelling or moving to another Member State, will  continue to benefit from protection measures against their offender, such as the obligation not to contact or the obligation not to approach the protected person, without formalities and complex procedures.  

Protecting the market from manipulation

Furthermore, an agreement is expected at Council level with respect to the proposal for a directive concerning insider dealing and market manipulation, which has also been a priority of the Cyprus Presidency. Since the last JHA Council, there has been an acceleration of discussions concerning this important directive, which aims at depriving criminals of taking advantage of the differences in national legal systems to manipulate the EU market.     

The Council will also look at the progress achieved at technical level regarding the following issues:

• The two legislative proposals concerning property disputes between former spouses and registered partners

                • The data protection reform package

• The proposal for a European Account Preservation Order to facilitate cross border debt recovery.

Presidency Spokesperson in Brussels
Nikos Christodoulides

Coreper II

Telephone: +32 27395152
Mobile: +32 473400441
Communications Officer
Dina Kapardis

Ministry of Interior
EU Affairs Unit
Telephone: +357 22867721
Communications Officer
Lefki Solomontos

Ministry of Justice & Public Order

Telephone: +357 22805996


06.12.2012 - 07.12.2012


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