The Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU has managed to convince both the member states as well as Parliament and the European Commission that uniform identity cards and additional security measures are needed, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Carmen Dan said on Friday.
“Identity cards will need to be produced in a uniform credit card format and will have a photograph and two fingerprints of the holder stored digitally on a chip. All of these items are required when the identity cards are used for crossing the border,” said Carmen Dan, in a press statement held at the Interior Ministry (MAI) headquarters.
She showed that, at the national level, MAI has already prepared a project on this issue, adapting the national legislation to the European requirements, which are currently in Parliament.
“So far, in the two months that have elapsed since the taking over of the rotating presidency, experts from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, both from the country and from the Permanent Representation of Romania to the European Union, finalized in the trialogue format, Parliament – Council – Commission, five files, obtaining the agreement for four of them,” said Carmen Dan.
She also spoke about the political agreement on the legislative package on the interoperability of information systems – which is a big step forward towards an integrated action to ensure the safety of European citizens.
The minister specified that a European search portal will be set up and made operational at EU level to allow competent authorities to query simultaneously in several EU data systems.
“Specifically, police officers in any EU member state will be able to get information about the verified person from all existing databases at the Union level with a single search, which will make it much easier to find people looking for different offenses and even suspects of activities from the sphere of terrorism and will help prevent and fight illegal migration,” said Carmen Dan.
She pointed out that another important dossier for which an agreement was reached is the proposal for a directive laying down rules for the use of information, financial or otherwise, for the prevention and detection of certain offenses.
“At the moment of taking over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the negotiations were stalled, but Romania managed to align the standpoints of the Council of the Union, the Commission and the European Parliament and to finalize this dossier,” the minister said.
Carmen Dan said that for the negotiation of the proposal for a regulation concerning immigration liaison officers, they had a very short time of only 12 days.
“However, following the trialogue talks we have obtained the political agreement, which will strengthen the role of liaison officers networks in return and reintegration procedures for migrants in the countries of origin. We have proposed an ambitious project when taking over the Presidency of the Council, to address the issue of migration where it occurs, not just in Europe. This is a concrete first step in this direction,” said Carmen Dan.
She added that the negotiations in the Council had been finalized and that the first political trialogue with the European Parliament and the Commission was held on the FRONTEX Regulation.
“We want to get a stronger FRONTEX agency capable of rapid action and support for member states to strengthen security at the Union’s external borders. With regard to the proposal on terrorist online content, we have already established an ambitious negotiation calendar with the European Parliament and the European Commission,” said Carmen Dan.
According to her, there must be measures to prevent young people and children from being attracted by the propaganda of terrorist networks.
“The last few years have shown us that the danger of terrorist radicalization is great among young people and the removal of terrorist content from online space is a measure that we must urgently take. Only this way can we protect ourselves against this scourge that has recently hit Europe several times,” added the Interior minister.
Elections to European Parliament, priority topic at JHA Council meeting in Brussels
The Regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard, the European Common Asylum System and relocation mechanism, the European Union’s cooperation with third countries, the response to terrorist threats and the guarantee of a fair electoral process are among the topics of the discussions to take place in Brussels on 7-8 March, at the first formal meeting of the JHA Council of Romania’s term of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Interior Minister Carmen Dan announced on Friday.
She specified that the item of the elections to the European Parliament is treated as a priority by the European officials.
“We all want the results of the ballot to reflect only the option of the people with the right to vote and for this it is mandatory to counteract at European level any interference or attempt to influence and manipulate the opinion of the Union’s citizens,” said Carmen Dan, at the Ministry of the Interior.
She also spoke about the establishment of RescEU, a tool that will bring together capacities for rapid intervention in the event of natural or man-made disasters, whose effects go beyond the response capacity of a member state.
“The Romanian Presidency of the Council will also take the last procedural steps to close the dossier on modifying the Civil Protection Mechanism (…) The European Union will have at disposal a reserve consisting of firefighting planes, high capacity water pumps, mobile hospitals and emergency medical teams as well as other means to respond to situations such as medical emergencies or radiological, nuclear, chemical and biological incidents,” the Interior minister said.
Carmen Dan thanked the previous Presidencies, the representatives of the European Commission and all