Programme of the Bulgarian Presidency
On 1 January 2018, the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU took up its work and published its programme. Its priorities in the area of criminal justice include the following:
- Institutionalisation and operationalisation of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) and the development of relations with partner institutions and services, including Eurojust, Europol, OLAF, third countries, and international organisations;
- Trilogues on draft legislative acts in the area of criminal justice, the fight against money laundering, mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders, exchange of information on criminal records of third country nationals, and the Eurojust Regulation;
- A general approach on the proposal in the area of fighting fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment;
- Effective implementation of the revised EU Internal Security Strategy and its three main pillars: fight against organised crime, terrorism, and cybercrime;
- Launch of the new 2018-2021 EU policy cycle for organised and serious international crime;
- Efficient implementation of the Passenger Name Record (PNR) Directive, prevention of radicalisation, and countering the phenomenon of foreign fighters;
- Enhanced cooperation with the countries of the Western Balkans in fighting serious and organised crime, terrorism, and border control.
In the field of border management, the Bulgarian Presidency will strive for the following:
- Interoperability of information systems and databases;
- Finalisation of negotiations on the legislative package to reform the Schengen Information System;
- Political agreement on extension of the mandate of the European agency for managing large-scale information systems (eu-LISA);
- Agreement on amendments to the Schengen Borders Code, thereby adapting the Schengen legal framework to new challenges in the area of security.
The Bulgarian Presidency will last until end of June and will be followed by Austria taking over for the second half of 2018.