Programme of the French Council Presidency
On 1 January 2022, France took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for six months. This also the first Presidency in the new cycle of trio presidencies composed of France, the Czech Republic, and Sweden (→separate news item).
Under the title “Recovery, Strength and a Sense of Belonging,” the programme of the French Presidency is guided by three objectives:
- To build a more sovereign Europe;
- To create a new European model for growth;
- To form a humane Europe.
In the area of Justice and Home Affairs, the programme strives to move forward with the reform of the Schengen area, to continue working on asylum and migration, and to strengthen security for European citizens. As part of the latter objective, the programme suggests strengthening police cooperation in the EU. In this regard, the Presidency plans to further promote the police cooperation package (→separate news item) by doing the following:
- Continuing negotiations to revise the Europol Regulation;
- Enhancing information exchange between European police forces;
- Establishing a directive on information exchange between law enforcement authorities of the EU Member States.
Additional efforts will be taken to step up the fight against drug trafficking and to combat terrorism and radicalisation, especially with regard to the return of foreign terrorist fighters and the detection of terrorist individuals in the Schengen area. The idea of creating an “EU Knowledge Hub” for the prevention of radicalisation will be further promoted. Looking at legal instruments, the French Presidency intends to strengthen its efforts against online child sexual abuse and to carry out negotiations on the upcoming proposal of the European Commission on preventing and combatting the sexual abuse of minors.