Cooperation on Home Affairs is an important part of the strategic relationship between the EU and the United States. It has been framed by the New Transatlantic Agenda since 1995.
Political and operational cooperation between the EU and the US gained momentum after the terrorist attacks on Washington and New York City on 11 September 2001. The Washington Statement of October 2009 sets out a joint EU-US commitment to cooperation in the area of Justice and Home Affairs area until 2014. The commitment was then renewed at the EU-US Justice and Home Affairs’ Ministerial meeting in Riga on 3 June 2015 (Riga Statement).
Main areas of cooperation
In recent years, the transatlantic cooperation focuses on:
- fight against terrorism and transnational crime,
- law enforcement and information exchange for law enforcement,
- protection of personal data,
- border management,
- visa reciprocity and
- migration policies.
Several international agreements have been signed since, including a cooperation agreement with Europol, as well as the EU-US Agreement on Passenger Names Records and on transatlantic transfer of financial messaging data (Terrorist Financing Tracing Program).
The policy dialogue includes regular meetings at the level of ministers, senior officials and experts. Operational cooperation takes place in multiple ways among law enforcement authorities on a daily basis. In addition, the Commission organises regular meetings with the USA and those Member States who are not in the Visa Waiver Program to facilitate the achievement of full visa waiver reciprocity between the EU and USA. Moreover, the US Congress and the European Parliament engage in a Transatlantic Legislators' Dialogue.