Programme of the Czech Council Presidency
On 1 July 2022, the Czech Republic took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the next six months. It is the second country in the cycle of trio presidencies composed of France, the Czech Republic and Sweden (→ eucrim 4/2021, 207).
Under the title “Europe as a Task – Rethink, Rebuild, Repower”, the programme of the Czech Council Presidency is guided by five priorities:
- Refugee crisis and post-war reconstruction of Ukraine;
- Energy security;
- Strengthening European defence capabilities and cybersecurity;
- Strategic resilience of the European economy;
- Resilience of democratic institutions.
In the area of justice, the programme pursues, amongst others, the following objectives:
- Working on the EU’s common approach to judicial cooperation and other aspects of criminal matters in response to the Russia's aggression against Ukraine, including the investigation of possible war crimes and crimes against humanity and the freezing, seizure, and possible further disposition of assets of persons on the EU sanctions list;
- Taking steps towards the formal adoption of the proposal for a Council Decision on the extension of the list of “euro crimes” referred to in Art. 83(1) TFEU to include violations of EU restrictive measures (→ separate news item);
- Continuing trilogues with the European Parliament and Commission on the proposals for a Regulation amending the Eurojust Regulation, for the Council Decision on the exchange of information and cooperation concerning terrorist offences, and for a Regulation establishing a collaboration platform to support Joint Investigation Teams;
- Discussing the proposal for a Directive on asset recovery and confiscation;
- Proceeding with the revision of the Directive on the protection of the environment through criminal law;
- Continuing negotiations on the e-evidence package;
- Progressing negotiations on the EU’s accession to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR);
- Making progress with negotiations on setting up a horizontal Regulation on the digitisation of cross-border judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters.
In the area of home affairs, the Czech Presidency has the following issues on its agenda:
- Reflecting on the security and migration implications of the Russian aggression against Ukraine;
- Furthering the proper and secure functioning of the Schengen area, for instance by convening the Schengen Council, ensuring the operationalisation of the modernised Schengen Information System, and addressing the issue of the enlargement of the Schengen area to include Croatia, Bulgaria, and Romania;
- Proceeding with the proposals under the European Police Cooperation Code;
- Revising the Regulation on the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction;
- Continuing the discussion on the new legislative proposal to combat child sexual abuse.
In addition, political initiatives will be further discussed and supported, such as the implementation of the EU Strategy for the fight against organised crime for the period 2021–2025, the EU Strategy on combating trafficking in human beings 2021–2025, and the EU Counter-Terrorism Agenda.