Coronavirus Dominates JHA Council Meeting of March 2020
The first formal JHA Council meeting under the Croatian Presidency on 13 March 2020 was dominated by the coronavirus crisis. Ministers discussed civil protection items, in particular:
- Lessons learnt so far in the tackling of the COVID-19 outbreak;
- Possible additional preparedness and response measures for the EU Civil Protection Mechanism;
- Ways to step up information-sharing, making full use of the integrated political crisis response (IPCR) toolbox;
- Additional support from Member States.
Other topics in relation to the coronavirus included the EU guidelines for health screening at borders and the working methods of the Council during the crisis.
Ministers also dealt with the strategic guidelines for justice and home affairs, which will further implement the common EU objectives set out in the strategic agenda 2019-2024, as adopted by the EU leaders in June 2019. The Council Presidency observed that despite broad support for the strategic JHA guidelines, agreement could not be reached since two Member States are still opposing. Further consultations will have to take place.