Joint statement by the governments of the United Kingdom and Germany

22 Sep 2016 01:34 PM

Home Secretary discusses counter terrorism, security and migration with Germany's Interior Minister in Berlin.

The Home Secretary of the United Kingdom, The Rt Hon Amber Rudd, and the Interior Minister of Germany, Dr. Thomas de Maizière, met in Berlin on 22 September 2016.

This first meeting since the Home Secretary’s appointment presented the opportunity to reaffirm the shared intention of Germany and the United Kingdom to deepen further the close partnership between our 2 countries. Effective cooperation between the UK and Germany remains crucial in addressing the shared threat faced from terrorism and extremism, as well as addressing the current challenges posed by migratory flows to Europe. We agreed that this close co-operation must and would continue to be developed, both now and after the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

Reinforcing the fight against terrorism

In recognition of the ongoing terrorist threat to Europe, our ministries as well as our security and law enforcement agencies will:

  • continue to strengthen links through sharing of information and closer working on investigations
  • deepen our collaboration on countering radicalisation including through further exchanges of good practice and experience between experts
  • support better regulation and control of the acquisition and possession of firearms within Europe, including by adopting as soon as possible the revised Weapons Directive and by tackling weapons smuggling through the Balkans
  • continue to work closely to counter any potential threats to maritime and aviation security
  • prioritise information sharing between all EU member states, in order better to meet emerging threats. This means ensuring that appropriate information exchange can take place between EU and international databases, as well as the use and implementation of existing tools and capabilities
  • call for and support all member states to implement the EU directive on the use of Passenger Name Records without delay and include, as agreed, charter flights and intra-European flights
  • call for the reinforcement of external borders through enhanced security measures, systematic use of databases and well-trained personnel
  • call on those who have not yet signed and ratified the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime to do so as soon as possible

Addressing migration

In the face of the challenges posed by ongoing migratory flows in Europe we are committed to working together to strengthen the security of the EU external border. At the same time as ensuring that support is available to those in need of international protection, we will also seek to address the upstream sources of migration into Europe and maintain collaboration on the return of those found not to be in need of protection.

Specifically, we will in the coming months:

  • continue our close cooperation in order to bear down on the organised crime gangs exploiting the vulnerable
  • work with the governments of Greece and Turkey to support the effective operation of the EU-Turkey agreement of 18 March
  • continue together to press all countries that participated in the London Syria Conference in February to make good on the commitments made to help Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan

Prüm fingerprint pilot

In line with our continued commitment to effective security cooperation, we are pleased to announce work to explore a fingerprint exchange pilot scheme between the UK and Germany, building on the DNA exchange pilot conducted in 2015.