[JURIST] German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble [official profile] said Thursday that Germany would place a high emphasis on containing illegal immigration originating from North Africa and Eastern Europe during the six-month German presidency [official website] of the EU. Schaeuble is expected to urge member state internal and justice ministers, scheduled to meet informally in Dresden next week, to increase member state cooperation, and allocate more resources and funds for Frontex [official website], the European Union's border security agency. Schaeuble also stated a desire to expand the Schengen III Agreement [PDF text; Liberty and Security backgrounder], intended to boost counter-terrorism operations by the exchanging of biometric data and facilitating joint operations, beyond the current seven EU-member signatories and into EU law.
Germany's presidency began in January and will conclude at the end of June. The European Presidency is responsible for the organization and chairing of all meetings in the Council of the European Union [official website], the EU's main decision making body. AFP has more.