Minister Stanton attends the Justice and Home Affairs Council in Luxembourg
• Discussions on Migration, Counter-Terrorism and E-Evidence
• Also preliminary discussions with Member States on Youth Justice
7th June, 2019
Minister of State David Stanton, TD represented Ireland at the Justice and Home Affairs Council meetings in Luxembourg with EU Ministers on the 6th and 7th of June, 2019.
Attending the Council, the Minister said:
“I am delighted to represent Ireland at these meetings at a key time in our planning for the strategic future of the EU. The nature of the matters under discussion demands a collaborative approach. Today shows that the outlook is very positive as we continue to progress matters such as migration, e-evidence and data retention for the purpose of keeping our people safe.”
In relation to the ongoing work to address challenges that the EU is facing on migration and asylum, the Minister welcomed the exchange of views and reiterated the importance of making greater progress on European-wide solutions. Minister Stanton particularly welcomed the increased focus on the need to create more legal pathways into Europe and on working with countries of origin and transit to assist them in ways specific to their individual needs. Commenting on the discussion the Minister said:
“Ireland remains a constructive participant in the ongoing efforts to deliver a comprehensive approach to migration. Tackling the root causes of irregular migration remains a key aspect of our ongoing work. Engagement and cooperation with third countries is critical and the establishment of the EU Trust Fund for Africa has already proven to be a useful way to support countries of origin and transit in a tailored way. Ireland’s contribution to the fund is the third highest per-capita of the EU Member States. This is a practical demonstration of our commitment to working with our partner countries in Africa to protect and enhance the lives of people with a view to enabling them to live in their home regions.”
At the Council, Ministers approved the opening of negotiations to reach agreement between the EU and the US on cross border access to e-evidence. This will enable law enforcement agencies to have access to electronically stored evidence relevant to criminal investigations while also respecting individual rights.
Commenting on this important step the Minister said:
“The adoption of the Council Decision on the issue of establishing an EU-US agreement in relation to sharing e-evidence is welcome and I am pleased that progress is being made. It is right that we work on finding transnational solutions in tandem with agreeing intra-EU rules on cross-border access to e-evidence. This is of course an area of particular interest to Ireland given the number of foreign technology companies that are based here and we will continue our work with our EU partners to achieve a successful outcome to the EU-US negotiations in this key area.”
In the margins of the Council meetings, Minister Stanton also held preliminary discussions with a number of other Member States about the scope for the future cooperation and exchanges of experiences in the area of youth justice. Ireland is currently developing a new Youth Justice Strategy.