Minister McEntee attends the virtual informal meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers hosted by the German Presidency



9th October 2020


Minister for Justice Helen McEntee, TD represented Ireland at the informal meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers held in virtual format on the 9th and 10th of October 2020.


At the meeting of Home Affairs Ministers, the Presidency and the Commission presented the new Pact on Migration and Asylum. Speaking on the exchange of views on the Pact, the Minister said:


“The issue of migration continues to be one of the most complex and challenging matters facing the EU in the aftermath of the migration crisis in 2015. The European Commission have published a detailed document which I very much welcome. The new Pact on Migration and Asylum will strengthen the EU’s capacity to respond to the challenges that migration poses, and will pose, for the EU over the coming decades.”


The Minister added:


“Ireland has been actively working with our EU partners to manage migration in Europe more effectively, and to prepare the EU and its Member States further for any future crises of unexpected mass migratory movements. We fully support EU efforts to deal with the migration issue in a comprehensive and holistic manner. The proposals contained in the Pact will require further careful consideration but it was clear from the discussions this week that there was an appetite from all Member States for reform in this area, something which is long overdue.”


Minister McEntee welcomed the discussion on the EU-Strategy to combat sexual abuse of children. Commenting on the discussion, the Minister said:


“This strategy is a comprehensive plan of action and I particularly welcome the Presidency’s focus on the areas of prevention efforts and supports for victims. These actions are pivotal to achieving the Strategy’s overarching objective to better align national approaches to better protect children online and offline. The exchange of views emphasises the support shown by Member States for the initiatives identified and I look forward to further engagement on this issue in the coming months.


“Child sexual abuse is a blight on our society and I am committed to tackling it locally with An Garda Síochána.”


Other issues on the agenda at the informal meeting of Home Affairs Ministers included a discussion on engaging with third countries on migration specifically focused on North Africa and Western Balkans, and European Police Partnership. Other issues discussed by Justice Ministers included access to justice, e-evidence and fundamental rights which included a presentation by the Presidency on the conclusions on the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the context of Artificial Intelligence and Digital change and also an exchange of views with the Director of the Fundamental Rights Agency on anti-Semitism and hate speech.