As of 1 July 2021, Slovenia will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for six months, taking over from Portugal.
The four priorities of the Slovenian Presidency programme are:
- Strengthening the resilience of the European Union in the areas of health, green, cyber and AI;
- The Conference on the Future of Europe, which began on 9 May 2021 and is expected to conclude in the spring of 2022;
- Strengthening the rule of law as one of common European values;
- Increasing the security and stability in the European neighbourhood.
AI – Artificial Intelligence – will be a key technology in the near future that will help shape Europe's digital sovereignty; and safeguards must be taken in order to ensure ethical usage. In May 2021, eu-LISA hosted the first meeting of a new Working Group on Artificial Intelligence, that will identify use cases for implementing AI solutions in the large-scale IT systems entrusted to eu-LISA, to maximise the added value of the services the Agency provides to its stakeholders. eu-LISA will be happy to contribute developing the approach to AI together with the Slovenian Presidency.
Strengthening the security within the European neighbourhood covers two important aspects relevant to eu-LISA's core activities, namely the European Commission's New Pact on Migration and Asylum, and the amendment of the Schengen Borders Code, that governs the movement of persons within the Schengen Area. The new Pact on Migration and Asylum sets out improved and faster procedures throughout the asylum and migration system, as well as a balance in the principles of fair sharing of responsibility and solidarity. One of the key focal points with regard to border, migration and asylum management is Eurodac, a large-scale IT system managed by eu-LISA. Through technology, the Agency support the efforts of the EU and its Member States in keeping Europe open and secure.
Throughout the years, eu-LISA has had strong ties with all countries within the rotating EU Presidency system and has made it a tradition to co-organise its flagship events together with the presiding country. Our latest Industry Roundtable benefited from the support of the Portuguese Presidency, while last year's Annual Conference was organised under the auspices of the German Presidency. For the 2021 Annual Conference, which will take place on 27 October, our partner will be the Slovenian Presidency. Close cooperation with our partners is essential in contributing to the achievement of Member States' priorities in the area of Justice and Home Affairs.