Justice (Thursday 7 October)
EU strategy on the rights of the child
EU justice ministers aim to approve Council conclusions on the EU strategy on the rights of the child. The strategy, presented by the European Commission on 24 March 2021, proposes concrete actions to protect, promote and fulfil children’s rights.
The Council will hold a debate on pre-trial detention, an issue which has an impact on individuals’ fundamental rights and freedoms and which is also important for mutual trust between member states’ judicial systems.
European Public Prosecutor’s Office
Ministers will take stock of the work of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), and in particular on the first months since the start of its operations.
Under any other business, ministers will be informed about developments regarding ongoing legislative files. They will also receive information on:
- the outcome of the conference on regulation of artificial intelligence which took place on 20 July 2021
- the results of the sixth evaluation of the code of conduct on countering illegal hate speech online
- the situation of members of the judiciary in Afghanistan
Before the meeting, ministers will attend a working lunch to discuss the issue of strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP) and the need to prevent judicial
harassment of journalis
The Council is expected to adopt without discussion the blue card directive. The new rules establish the entry and residence conditions for highly qualified non-EU nationals coming to live and work in the EU, and aim to attract and retain highly qualified workers, particularly in sectors facing skills shortages.
The Council presidency and the European Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the draft directive in May 2021.
Home affairs ministers will discuss the challenges posed by screening and detention of migrants.
They will also follow up on the situation in Afghanistan with regard to international protection, migration and security and will exchange views on the situation on various migration routes.
The Commission and the presidency will also inform ministers about progress on the development of migration action plans for priority countries of origin and transit. In June 2021, the European Council called for such action plans to be put forward and to include clear objectives, further support measures and concrete timelines.
Ministers will hold a debate on the digital dimension of investigating child sexual abuse. Under any other business, ministers will be informed about developments on ongoing legislative files.
They will also receive information on the Salzburg Forum ministerial conference which took place on 23 and 24 June.
Over lunch, ministers will have an exchange of views on the implementation of the various justice and home affairs databases and the interoperability framework.