Working groups of the Council of the European Union

Estonian points of view must be well represented and defended in working groups of the Council of the European Union, since over two-thirds (around 70%) of drafts and documents discussed by the Council are agreed upon in working groups and special committees.

Around 10-15% of them are agreed upon in the Committee of Permanent Representatives that prepares the work of the Council (Coreper, Comité des Représentants Permanents), while the remaining 10-15% are agreed upon during the Council meetings proper.
The Ministry of the Interior and officials within its area of administration participate in the working groups. They are supported on the matters of home affairs by counsellors of Estonia’s Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels.

Töögrupid
 

The Ministry of the Interior and officials within its area of administration participate in the following committees and working groups of the Council of the European Union:

  • COSI, The Standing Committee on Operational Cooperation on Internal Security. The committee assists in coordination of operational cooperation on internal security matters of member states. Among other things, the committee deals with international serious and organised crime policy, which is based on Europol’s threat assessment, as well as with monitoring of implementation of various action plans and measures. The committee has no right to decide on legislative matters.

  • CATS, The Coordinating Committee in the Area of Police and Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters. The committee coordinates and provides opinions on legislative drafts after discussions in expert groups and before any discussions on the level of the Council of Ministers take place. The committee has no right to decide on legislative matters. Estonia is represented in the committee by both the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice.

  • SCIFA, Strategic Committee on Immigration, Frontiers and Asylum. The committee examines issues of harmonisation of legal and illegal migration policy, visa policy and asylum policy before any discussions on the level of the Council of Ministers. The committee has no right to decide on legislative matters.

  • JAIEX, JAI-RELEX Working Party. This working group ensures that the European Union’s external relations in the area of justice and home affairs are appropriately coordinated, including organising meetings and negotiating agreements with third countries.

  • LEWP, Law Enforcement Working Party. The working group considers questions of general cross-border cooperation in order to concentrate in the European Union the best practices and to formulate and harmonise approaches to ensure public order and security. The working group also has access to an overview of Europol and CEPOL activities.

  • GENVAL, Working Party on General Matters including Evaluation. The working group considers sector initiatives by organising, among other things, mutual evaluations of international legislation regarding criminal matters, implementation of legal acts and practices adopted on the basis of such legislation and cooperation measures with regard to fighting organised crime. For instance, currently evaluation in the area of financial crimes and financial investigations is taking place. Estonia is represented in the working group by both the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice.

  • Working Party on Integration, Migration and Expulsion. The working group addresses drafting legal acts with regard to legal and illegal migration as well as other questions concerning the European Union’s cooperation in the areas of migration, expulsion and employment.

  • HLWG, High-Level Working Group on Asylum Migration. The task of the working group is to develop the common strategy for cooperation with third countries (non-EU member states) in order to better manager migration flows.

  • DAPIX, Working Party on Information Exchange and Data Protection. The working group addresses legal, substantive and technical issues relating to information exchange and data protection in the context of justice and home affairs. Among other things, the working group deals with implementation of the European Union’s internal security information management strategy and – on the basis of the Prüm Decision – with information exchange in connection with DNA, fingerprints and vehicle registration. The Ministry of the Interior represents Estonia in the working group in the area of information exchange, while the Ministry of Justice deals with matters of data protection.

  • HDG, Horizontal Working Party on Drugs. The working group deals with implementation of the EU Drug Strategy and the action plan based on it. Estonia is represented in the working group by the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Social Affairs.

  • TWP, Working Party on Terrorism. The working group evaluates methods of the European Union’s strategy for combating terrorism on the basis of reviews of the counter-terrorism coordinator for the major developments in the field. The strategy for combating terrorism is based on four pillars: prevention, protection, tracking and responding/reacting. The annual report on the situation with terrorism in the European Union and present threats is prepared by Europol, mainly on the basis of information received from member states.

  • AWP, Asylum Working Party. The working group deals with preparation of legal acts in order to establish a joint European asylum system as well as handles other asylum-related matters, as necessary.

  • VWP, Visa Working Party. The working group analyses proposed legal acts with the aim of improving conditions of implementation of a common visa policy. Estonia is represented in the working group by the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

  • FRONTIERS, Working Party on Frontiers. The working group addresses cooperation with regard to control of external borders of the European Union and develops the Schengen acquis in this field. A subdivision of the working group (Working Party on Frontiers / False documents) deals with information exchange on false documents and the matters of document safety.

  • PROCIV, Working Party on Civil Protection. The working group addresses matters of cooperation in connection with protection of the European Union’s population in order to facilitate protection of people, the environment, property and cultural heritage from major natural and man-induced disasters both within the European Union and outside its borders.

  • Working Party for Schengen Matters The working group operates in different configurations, depending on various aspects of the Schengen system being dealt with. These include the Schengen Evaluation Working Group (SCHEVAL), the Schengen Information System Working Group (SIS - SIRENE), the Working Group of Technical Matters of the Schengen Information System (SIS - TECH) and the Schengen Acquis Group.

 
Last updated: 11 June 2014