Van der Steur and Dijkhoff explain the Presidency programme in Brussels

Minister Van der Steur and Minister for Migration Dijkhoff explain the Dutch Presidency programme today, to the European Parliament, as the programme applies to safety, migration and justice. ‘The European Union is facing major challenges with respect to safety, migration and justice. On their own, member States cannot address the problems associated with the fight against terrorism and problems related to migration.’ The Minister explains that ‘these problems are therefore high on the European political agenda’.

Dutch counterterrorism actions

In its Presidency role, the Netherlands will devote its efforts to strengthening European collaboration in the fight against terrorism. This means the Netherlands is ready to push for the implementation of existing arrangements, such as those with respect to the exchange of information and new regulations concerning firearms. In addition, the Netherlands is making an effort to combat terrorist travel movements. Moreover, the Netherlands stimulates the exchange of best practices to combat radicalisation and the importance of a sound local approach in this regard. The Presidency also focuses on harmonisation of the penalisation of terrorist crimes.


The influx of asylum seekers in the EU has reached unprecedented levels. The speedy establishment of hotspots where asylum seekers are registered and strengthening of the monitoring and security at the external borders are therefore of the utmost importance. Moreover, it is important to come to an agreement in terms of proposals for redistribution, safe countries of origin, revision of the Dublin Regulation and the visa package. Tackling human traffickers and promoting the return of asylum seekers who need no protection are challenges that the EU must face in a joint fashion.

Apart from migration and counterterrorism actions, other cross-border problems also deserve attention.

Cyber security and cyber crime

An open and secure internet is of great importance. In order to improve cyber security, the Netherlands wants to improve collaboration with the broader ICT community in particular, such as trade and industry and experts. The developments in the digital domain also bring about additional new challenges for the approach to crime. This once again demands a joint approach. The efforts on the Presidency's part focus on improvement of operational international collaboration and jurisdiction in cyberspace.

Human trafficking

Human trafficking often brings to mind sexual exploitation. However, human trafficking in the form of labour exploitation is also a major cross-border problem. The Netherlands therefore requests attention for better collaboration, to combat this form of organised crime.

The rights of victims

Compliance with European legislation which offers protection to people who fall victim to crimes abroad, is of the utmost importance. The Netherlands therefore makes an effort towards the creation of a European network for victims’ rights.

Forensic investigation

In its Presidency role, the Netherlands will make an effort to promote improvement in the quality of forensic investigations in Europe. This will make it easier to use forensic evidence in the investigation of cross-border crimes.

More information is available at the presidency website: EU2016