Savvides: EU28 Ministers called upon to provide guidance on future developments in the area of internal security

The future of EU internal security, focusing inter alia on the collection of data from the EUs external borders, was at the heart of the works of the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council convened today in Brussels.

The Republic of Cyprus was represented there by Minister of Justice and Home Affairs, George Savvides.

“As Ministers, we have been called upon to provide guidance on future developments in the area of internal security in the next legislative cycle (2019-2024),” the Minister explained after the meeting.

As the Minister stated, “in particular, we had the opportunity to exchange views on the effective use of new technologies, the management and analysis of information and the methods of cross-border cooperation, with the aim of coming up with a common, integrated approach to addressing threats”.

The Cypriot Minister noted that “the effective use of new technologies by law enforcement agencies is particularly important for the purpose of preventing and combating crime”.

He made it clear that “our position is that these Principles should be involved from the initial stages of the process so that any technological solutions are more efficient”.

“In this context, the Innovation Lab at Europol can play an important role and the necessary budget for the Agency, as well as the implementation of the relevant Conclusions, regarding the possibility of exchanging information with the private sector must be ensured” , the Minister of Justice and Public Order pointed out.

As Minister George Savvides noted, the Ministers further addressed the issue of collecting qualitative data through sound and effective management of the EUs external borders.

“We support this effort and, as Cyprus, we have launched a Schengen evaluation process and hope that soon we will be able to seek the support of the Council for granting temporary access to the Schengen Information System,” he said.

He stressed that the discussions also raised the issue of violent radicalization, “which”, as the Minister said, “remains a threat to the internal security of the Union”. The Minister noted that this is an important issue in light of recent events in London and the Hague and added that “special emphasis was placed on the need to support and educate frontline people”.

The Minister informed the press that in the afternoon, the Commission and the Finnish Presidency “informed us on the issue of promoting the implementation of the Interoperability Regulation, which entered into force on 11 June 2019”.

“Interoperability will be a very useful tool for law enforcement authorities, since it will allow a uniform search between the various systems and databases of the Member States for the purpose of more effectively combating organized crime and terrorism,” the Minister said.

“Implementing the interoperability of systems for the effective management of information is a priority for Cyprus and, as a Government, we have set up a multidisciplinary team to implement this major project within the timetable,” he said.

Finally, he noted that on the sidelines of the Councils work he had the opportunity to congratulate and congratulate the new Vice-President of the Commission Margaritis Schinas on taking up his new duties and to discuss with his Greek counterpart Michael Chrysochoides of mutual interest “.

Minister Savvides noted that the Councils work would be completed tomorrow, “with the adoption of conclusions on victims rights and alternatives to detention” and the Council would also seek to adopt conclusions on the future of judicial cooperation in civil matters.

Source: Cyprus News Agency