During their videoconference, which was led by German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, ministers looked into possibilities to strengthen the EU’s common efforts against terrorism after recent attacks in France, Germany and Austria. Since the attacks in Paris in 2015, EU authorities have reinforced anti-terrorism measures across the continent. This has included enacting legislation to better control dangerous firearms, improving cooperation, and the exchange of information, between countries both within and outside the EU, reinforcing security checks at external borders and doing more to combat online radicalisation.

Following the exchange on Friday, EU Home Affairs Ministers issued a joint statement on the recent terrorist attacks in Europe.

Following that, ministers continued their exchange on the New Pact on Migration and Asylum proposed by the European Commission in September this year. Topics included internal and external European issues resulting from the proposed Pact, such as the solidarity mechanism and internal migration and asylum management.

“We now have the great opportunity to show the world that Europe stands together on this difficult issue,” said Minister of the Interior, Horst Seehofer.

The proposed new Pact aims to ensure that burdens and responsibilities are more evenly shared, by taking a comprehensive and pan-European approach to migration. It should make the process of migration faster, more just and more transparent both for highly-skilled individuals from non-EU states, who wish to live and work in the EU, and for vulnerable persons who apply for asylum. It will also better prepare the EU for emergency situations.

Following this meeting, the upcoming Justice and Home Affairs Council on 3 and 4 December will be crucial to further progress on the New Pact on Migration and Asylum.