German EU Presidency Programme
Since 1 July 2020, Germany holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU until 31 December 2020. Guided by the motto “Together for Europe’s recovery”, the Presidency’s programme focuses on Europe’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and looks at solutions to create a stronger and more innovative, fair, and sustainable Europe of security and common values, as well as for effective European external actions.
In the area of Justice and Home Affairs, the German Presidency intends to focus on the fight against hate crime and racism. The fight against terrorism shall be further optimised by introducing a common analysis of the various national personal risk assessment systems and national threat lists as well as the rapid adoption of the regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online. Cross-border cooperation between police authorities shall be improved through a European police partnership allowing police officers in the EU to get access to necessary information from other Member States. Europol’s capabilities to support the operative work of the national security forces in their fight against cross-border crime, terrorist and extremist threats shall be strengthened and its role as the central agency for the European police be expanded. Furthermore, measures shall be taken to improve cooperation between the police, customs and the judiciary. Judicial cooperation on combating cross-border crime shall be strengthened, for instance with regard to gathering electronic evidence across borders. Further issues include measures to bolster security in cyberspace.
Looking at the EU’s migration and asylum policy, the German Presidency calls for an ambitious reform of the Common European Asylum System to create a fair, operational, efficient and crisis-proof system. With regard to the protection of the EU’s external borders, it suggests, for instance, to introduce mandatory procedures enabling authorities to categorise and assess asylum applications in preliminary proceedings at an early stage and to refuse entry into the EU where it is evident that no need for protection exists. Furthermore, the EU’s capacities for resettlement shall be strengthened and expanded.