Minister of the Interior Aleš Hojs and Minister of Justice Marjan Dikaučič presented the Slovenian Presidency's priorities to members of the LIBE Committee on 1 and 2 September. The priorities include the current migration situation and the protection of human rights.
The priorities of the Slovenian Presidency of the EU Council in the field of internal affairs are based on finding appropriate common and comprehensive solutions at the EU level regarding migration management with the aim of eliminating the root causes of migration, and efforts to combat migrant smuggling and human trafficking. “At an informal meeting of ministers of the interior in July, the ministers showed the political will to make gradual progress in shaping the EU's common migration policy,” said Minister Hojs, adding that they will continue their intense work on legislative proposals, especially the Eurodac regulation, in September.
The minister also spoke about the current migration situation in the EU and the world. “We are following the situation in Afghanistan, and, according to the joint statement of the ministers from the extraordinary session two days ago, the Union will also respond to the possible effects of the situation on the EU,” Hojs said and reiterated his condemnation of the attempts to instrumentalise people for political purposes, which are taking place at the EU's external border with Belarus.
Strengthening the Schengen Area
The key objectives include strengthening the Schengen Area and ensuring a high level of security in the EU and Slovenia.
Strengthening the Schengen Area is extremely important for the Slovenian Presidency, which is why the discussions on the proposal for the Schengen evaluation mechanism in the competent working group started on the very first day of the presidency,
Aleš Hojs Minister of the Interior
“This was followed by the ministers’ discussion in July, which outlined the direction regarding the Schengen Code proposal to be presented by the European Commission by the end of the year.”
The regional priority is the Western Balkans and the need for close cooperation in activities to support the countries of the region in joining Euro-Atlantic integrations and transposing EU standards. “We and our Western Balkan partners place particular emphasis on strengthening police cooperation in the field of preventing the sexual abuse of children online,” the minister added.
Protection of Human Rights
The common thread of the Slovenian Presidency in the field of justice is the protection of human rights in light of the challenges posed by new technologies and internet use. “What is not allowed in the real world should not be allowed in the virtual world, either,” said Minister Marjan Dikaučič in his presentation. He went on to announce a virtual conference on effective protection of victims and the fight against hate speech and hate crimes, which Slovenia is organising on 28 October in cooperation with the European Commission.
The trialogue on the e-Evidence regulation was successfully completed in July, providing a good basis for continuing negotiations. Minister Dikaučič: “Together with the European Parliament, we are looking for a solution that will ensure, from the point of view of criminal proceedings, an effective system for obtaining electronic evidence that will at the same time protect the rights and legitimate interests of all involved.” The aim of the presidency is to make significant progress or even complete the negotiations on the proposal before the end of the year.
Artificial intelligence can profoundly infringe on our fundamental rights, such as the right to privacy, the protection of personal data, the right to non-discrimination and freedom of expression and assembly, in various ways. Therefore, one of our main priorities is to address the ethical aspects and potential impacts of the use of artificial intelligence on fundamental rights and freedoms.
Minister of Justice Marjan Dikaučič ©European Parliament
We need to undertake the regulation of artificial intelligence with all responsibility and foster complementary cooperation among all global actors that create standards for ethical and fundamental rights-based artificial intelligence. We want it to serve the good of humanity and bring prosperity.
Marjan Dikaučič Minister of Justice