Report on JHA Network Activities 2021
26 April 2022 (updated 8 months, 1 week ago)
Riehle_Cornelia_Neu_SW.jpg Cornelia Riehle LL.M.
Published in printed Issue 1/2022 pp 35 – 36

At the end of January 2022, Frontex published the final report on the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Agencies’ Network Activities 2021. Frontex presided the Network in 2021. The activity report summarizes the networks meetings, thematic reports and cooperation of the year 2021. Furthermore, the report outlines the priorities for 2022.

Achievements of the year 2021 include the network’s efforts to turn green under the priorities of the European Green Deal. In this context, the Network dealt, inter alia, with the links between climate change and organised crime/terrorism and the legal framework and operational aspects
of the fight against environmental crime. Another priority in 2021 was to take further steps towards the digitalisation of the JHA Agencies. Thematic issues here included:

  • The increasing use of IT systems by the JHA Agencies;
  • The development and implementation of new functionalities of EU large-scale IT systems;
  • The development of AI and its use in the management of EU external borders and in law enforcement practice;
  • The development of information management strategies and possible synergies in this re-
    gard between the JHA Agencies.

Another important issue in 2021 was the network's assessment following its 10th anniversary in 2020. The heads of the JHA Agencies endorsed an assessment report that looks at the value of the network in enhancing inter-agency cooperation, implementing the EU priorities in the areas of freedom, security and justice and aligning activities in areas of common interest. While the assessment finds the network to be a very good platform for working-level coordination, it also sets out several recommendations, e.g.:

  • Establishing a trio presidency format, in order to discuss overarching topics in a more thorough way and facilitate long-term planning;
  • Ensuring adequate budgeting and human resources;
  • Adopting new guidelines for the establishment and functioning of working groups and thematic expert meetings;
  • Strengthening cooperation with key stakeholders, such as the European Parliament and the Council.

Ultimately, looking at the year 2022, the activity report underlines the need to further implement the recommendations of the 10-years assessment report and to give continuity of established practice. In 2022, the Justice and Home Affairs Agencies’ Network is presided by CEPOL. Digitalisation and the green deal will remain priorities in 2022, but CEPOL will elaborate on specific issues in this regard. In addition, cooperation between JHA Agencies and third countries will be the third thematic priority.

The Justice and Home Affairs Agencies' Network (JHAAN) was initiated in 2010 by the Standing Committee on Internal Security (COSI) within the Council. The main objectives are to increase cooperation between the EU bodies involved in justice and home affairs and to explore synergies in areas of common interest. Since 2012, the network comprises nine EU agencies (CEPOL, EASO, EIGE, EMCDDA, eu-LISA, Eurojust, Europol, FRA and Frontex).

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Cornelia Riehle LL.M.

Academy of European Law (ERA)

Criminal Law

Deputy Head of Section