Joint EU-U.S. statement following the EU-U.S. Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial meeting of 5 December 2016
On 5 December 2016, the U.S.-EU Ministerial Meeting on Justice and Home Affairs occurred in Washington, D.C. The meeting reaffirmed the strong and historical bonds between the United States and the European Union, and the commitment to continue working closely together in the areas of Justice and Home Affairs.
The United States of America, hosting the event at the Department of Justice, was represented by U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and by Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson.
The European Union was represented by the Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos and by Slovak Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Robert Kaliňák, on behalf of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The United States of America and the European Union underlined the critical importance of their robust relationship and cooperation in the area of Justice and Home Affairs and the need to sustain and deepen cooperation while facing the shared security challenges, for the benefit of the security of citizens in the United States and in the European Union.
Both sides confirmed the completion of their internal approval procedures for the EU-U.S. Data Protection "Umbrella" Agreement, and welcomed this important step for strengthening data protection in law enforcement cooperation across the Atlantic. On that basis, the U.S Attorney General will now make the necessary designations under the Judicial Redress Act to allow the swift entry into force of the Agreement.
The United States and the European Union discussed their common efforts to fight terrorism, including through improved information sharing, and addressing the issue of radicalization. The sides also exchanged views and took stock of recent European Union actions in the areas of migration, border management and its role in ensuring internal security. They also discussed questions related to Chemical, Biological, Radioactive and Nuclear materials.
The European Union stressed the importance of achieving full visa reciprocity with the United States as soon as possible.
The sides reaffirmed the need to step up joint work on cybersecurity and cybercrime in all its dimensions including with the private sector.
The discussion further covered the implementation of the U.S.-EU Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty and the question of access by law enforcement authorities to electronic evidence. Participants also recognized the challenges posed by the existing legal frameworks in terms of cross-border access to digital evidence and agreed to regularly discuss these issues with a view to proposing common solutions. The participants also discussed recent extradition matters.
Reiterating the progress made and the need to face global challenges together, the United States and the European Union committed to continue their constructive dialogue and meet again in the first half of 2017.