Council Conclusions: Impact of COVID-19 on Internal Security
On 7 June 2021, the JHA Council adopted conclusions “on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on internal security: threats, trends, resilience and lessons learned for EU law enforcement.” By stressing that the COVID-19 pandemic posed unpredictable risks and threats to the internal security landscape, the conclusions mainly recommend to make better use of the existing instruments. They call on the Member States and the EU institutions to step up efforts in order to ensure protection, achieve better preparedness, and reinforce prevention. Member States should do the following:
- Better coordinate the exchange of cross-border information, joint law enforcement operations, best practices and expertise between neighbouring countries;
- Prevent hindrances to strategical, operational and tactical cross-border law enforcement cooperation, in particular in case of travel restrictions;
- Develop and promote information and awareness campaigns for their citizens, focusing particularly on the prevention of cybercrime, misinformation, and hate speech;
- Develop scenario-based training and practical exercises within CEPOL (the EU agency for law enforcement training) to ensure preparedness and resilience for future pandemics and other crises;
- Share best practices on reporting channels for victims of crime, such as domestic violence and sexual abuse.
Europol is encouraged to support Member States through the exchange of information that affect internal security in crisis situations and to develop best practices from its analytical reports on crime trends and risk assessments during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The Commission should support Europol and the innovation lab to set up a common, resilient and secure instrument for communications in the EU law enforcement cooperation framework.