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The Danish Minister for Justice seeks to strengthen the Schengen cooperation and to take up the EU’s challenges in the area of asylum

07-03-2012 09:20:00

Minister for Justice Morten Bødskov and Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström at the Informal Ministerial meeting in Copenhagen 26-27 January.

Photo: The Council of the European Union

Danish Minister of Justice and President of the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council, Morten Bødskov, wants to find practical solutions to the challenges facing the EU in the area of asylum and illegal immigration. Therefore, the Minister has put these subjects on the agenda of the first JHA Council Meeting under the Danish Presidency which will be chaired by the Danish Minister.

On 8 March 2012, the first formal Council Meeting on Home Affairs under Danish Presidency will take place in Brussels. The meeting will have participation of the Member States’ Ministers of Home Affairs and Ministers of Integration Affairs and the EU Commissioner responsible for Home Affairs.

The Director of the Common European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and the Director of the European Union Agency for External Border Security (FRONTEX) will also attend the meeting.

Danish Minister of Justice, Morten Bødskov, will chair the JHA Council Meeting and he has decided to put, among other items, the following top-ics on the agenda:

  • Negotiations on the second phase of the Common European Asylum System. The Danish Presidency aims to secure progress in the ongoing work towards an even stronger European Asylum System where the basic principles of the Dublin Regulation are maintained.
  • A common framework for genuine and practical solidarity. At the Council Meeting, the Danish Presidency will present draft Council Conclusions concerning a framework for solidarity involving Member States exposed to a particular pressure from an influx of asylum seekers and illegal immigrants.    
  • Strengthened political management of the Schengen cooperation. The Danish Presidency hopes for support of the introduction of permanent six-monthly strategic debate among the ministers, which will contribute to strengthened political management of the cooperation among the Schengen countries.   
  • A strengthened effort towards combating illegal immigration. At the Council Meeting there will be an orientation concerning a road map for strengthened efforts to combat illegal immigration to the EU. The roadmap is currently being prepared by the Danish Presidency and the Commission.
  • New methods to combat organised crime. Based on successful efforts in Denmark, the Danish Presidency whishes to focus on modern ways to combat organised crime by enhancing multidisciplinary cooperation between relevant authorities.

Danish Minister of Justice, Morten Bødskov, states:

”Europe faces great challenges in the area of asylum and migration with the external borders of the EU being under increasing pressure from asylum seekers and illegal migrants.

We must take joint action in order to secure effective asylum procedures to make sure that those in need of international protection are afforded such protection. Furthermore, the common European asylum system is based on the principle that responsibility for determining an asylum claim within the EU falls upon the first Member State that receives the asylum seeker.
Therefore, we must take a determined approach in the EU to fight illegal immigration and to avoid situations where serious pressure on the asylum system of one or more Member States could endanger the whole European asylum system. A strong Schengen cooperation is crucial in this context.

I look forward to lead the political debate at tomorrow’s Council Meeting on how to make the asylum systems even stronger. I am pos-itive that together we will be able to find good solutions. The key is solidarity towards those Member States facing particular pressures on their asylum systems through mixed migration flows.”   

Following the meeting (approximately at 17:00), there will be a press conference which can be streamed live.

In addition, the Ministry of Justice will issue a press release after the meeting containing the main conclusions from the political debate.


Agenda: Lasse Boje
Phone: +45 40 16 99 17, e-mail:


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Denmark holds the Presidency of The Council of The European Union during the first six months of 2012. The Council is made up of 10 Council configurations dealing with different thematic areas. The Minister of Justice is President of the Justice and Home Affairs Council.

The general purpose of the JHA Council is to ensure that the EU remains an “area with freedom, security and justice” and the Council deals with cooperation on border control, immigration, asylum, civil protection, civil law and police and criminal law matters. 

The JHA Council convenes three times during each Presidency and the meeting on 8 March 2012 is the first formal Council Meeting under the current Danish Presidency. The Danish Presidency hosted an Informal JHA Ministerial Meeting on 26-27 January 2012 in Copenhagen.

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