On 22 November, the Heads of the nine EU Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) agencies met at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague. The discussions focused on the implementation of the New Strategic Agenda 2019-2024, the state-of-play of the interoperability project and the common efforts in reinforcing diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Europol hosted their annual meeting in the framework of its 2019 chair of the JHA agencies’ network. During its chair, Europol has also organised five expert meetings on information technologies and cybersecurity, diversity and inclusion, media relations, training, and data protection.
The outcome of the meetings that took place under Europol’s chair will serve for the drafting of a joint strategic report with recommendations for the EU Council on the future Internal Security Strategy.
The different areas of cooperation and subjects relevant to JHA agencies discussed during the meeting and throughout the Europol chair in 2019 clearly demonstrate the crucial role of the agencies in the EU area of justice, security and freedom.
While each and every agency is doing its utmost to deliver results according to its respective mandate, there are several horizontal challenges which can be addressed only through even closer inter-agency cooperation.
In 2020, Eurojust will follow Europol as chair of the JHA Agencies Network.
Spotlight on diversity and inclusion
The network has decided to further step-up its efforts in fostering inclusion and diversity and in addressing discriminatory behaviour. During the meeting, the agencies’ representatives have signed a formal engagement to champion equality and ensure equal opportunities for all staff members while embracing their diversity.
The common statement highlights the importance of inclusive corporate culture and strong diversity values to increase staff engagement, cohesion and organisational delivery. The statement focuses on promoting:
- Inclusive corporate culture;
- Strengthened diversity;
- Corporate awareness of fundamental rights and equal opportunities;
- Countering discriminatory behaviour.
The nine agencies members of the JHA Agencies Network are:
- European Asylum Support Office (EASO) ;
- European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex);
- European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE);
- European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA);
- European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA);
- European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) ;
- European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL);
- European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (eu-LISA);
- European Union Judicial Cooperation Unit (EUROJUST).