After an extraordinary meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council in Brussels on 24 March, Minister of State Barna Berke told Hungarian news agency MTI that “In addition to expressing solidarity and support, the joint statement adopted by the JHA Council also focused on tightening cooperation and the importance of information sharing”.

“The joint statement defines required responses to threats in every area; its aims and aspirations are legitimate, and so Hungary supported it” said the Minister of State. According to Mr. Berke, “The members of the JHA Council underscored the fact that there is an inescapable need to unite national efforts and to enhance cooperation among the Member States for surveillance of extremist networks organised on the territory of the EU. The JHA Council also urged for the soonest possible adoption of the Commission’s proposal for a passenger name record database and its introduction in all Member States. They stressed that the proposed legislation for combatting terrorism should be passed as soon as possible.”

DownloadPhoto: Olivier Hoslet/EPA/MTI

The JHA Council agreed on the absolute necessity of creating the conditions for systematic surveillance of the Schengen borders, as was specially underlined by Mr. Berke in his remarks. He also spoke of the necessity of stricter rules on possessing and trading firearms. The Minister of State added that “The JHA Council members also urged for the extension of the European Criminal Records Information System to citizens of third countries, and the harmonisation of measures against forged identity documentation. They also said that partnership cooperation with Turkey and Middle Eastern and Western Balkan states must be deepened”.

According to Mr. Berke, “the JHA Council members suggested creating a liaison office within Europol’s European Counter Terrorism Centre. This office should monitor and analyse foreign militants, the financing of terrorism, illegal arms trading and online propaganda by extremist groups.”

Minister of State Berke added that “Hungary expresses its complete solidarity with Belgium and supports every measure which could strengthen security in Europe”.

(Ministry of Justice)