Council on Home Affairs

YMGE 2018

Letter from Director

Dear Delegates,

Welcome to Yale Model Government Europe 2018! My name is Neelam, and I could not be more thrilled to serve as your Committee Director for the Cabinet of Latvia and the Council on Home Affairs. I am so excited to facilitate your YMGE experience; I hope to make it as fulfilling, engaging, and inspiring as possible. I believe that the opportunities YMGE provides are incredible, and can only be limited by our collective imagination as a committee. Together, during the conference, we have the chance to immerse ourselves in an amazing learning experience, and I hope we can all learn not only from the content we debate, but also from each other.

Currently, I am a sophomore planning to double major in Global Affairs and History at Yale University. I am from the cold New England state of New Hampshire, and have lived and skied there my whole life! At Yale, I am a member of the Yale International Relations Association (YIRA), and have been involved with conferences like SCSY and YMUN. Additionally, I am a member of Model UN Team at Yale, and on the board for the Yale Undergraduate International Policy Competition. When I am not binge-watching Netflix series, I race for the Yale Ski Team and love to write travel journals when I explore new places.

I look forward to being your Director, and want you to know that I will be your resource at all times. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, I am more than happy to assist you via email up until the conference, at If you have any hesitations or inquiries about the topic guide, content material, or the conference in general, I will do my best to get back to you as soon as possible, so that we can all enter our YMGE journey with excitement and enthusiasm!

Can’t wait to see you all in Budapest!

All the best,

Neelam Sandhu


Council Overview

This subsidiary council of the European Union is comprised primarily of Interior Ministers from every member state. It's main duty is to discuss and legislate cross-border issues relating to civil protection, asylum, immigration, and organized crime. Under this council's jurisdiction rests critical issues facing the EU today, such as the movement of persons, asylum and immigration across EU borders, EU citizenship requirements, how to combat discrimination and cross-border organized criminal/terrorist activity, and the fight against human trafficking into and across EU nations. This body is a crucial force in determining member states' policies and approaches to freedom and security as a whole, and its role grows exponentially more important as issues of immigration and terrorism continue to challenge existing EU policies. Delegates in this council must contemplate whether or not to modify the existing EU approach to such topics, and accordingly tackle such issues in the face of larger crises.

Council History

The European Council’s Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council is made up of justice and home affairs ministers from all the EU member states. At YMGE, this council will be modified to address home affairs issues, and matters of legal justice will the responsibility of another committee. Consequently, we will refer to the committee as the Council on Home Affairs for the duration of the conference. In general, justice ministers deal with judicial cooperation in both civil and criminal law and fundamental rights, while home affairs ministers are responsible for migration, border management and police cooperation, among other matters. However, not all EU member states have the same division of tasks between ministers. The Council is also responsible for civil protection.

The Council usually meets every three months. As agreed in particular EU treaties, Denmark, the Ireland, and United Kingdom do not fully participate in the implementation of certain measures relating to home affairs, or their participation is subject to certain conditions.

In the areas related to the Schengen legislation, discussions take place in the mixed committee format. This format is comprised of the EU member states, in addition to the 4 non-EU countries that are part of the Schengen agreement (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland). In the case of legislative measures, after a discussion in the mixed committee adoption takes place at the Council, with the exception that the UK and Ireland do not vote.

With regards to recent issues with migration, internal security, and human rights, the role of the Council on Home Affairs has grown increasingly important and complex. The Council adopts legislation, in most cases in conjunction with the European Parliament, aimed at “guaranteeing fundamental rights, ensuring the free movement of people across the EU and offering citizens a high level of protection.” The committee is tasked with the responsibility to manage asylum and immigration policies, civil protection, and the fight against serious and organised crime and terrorism. As the European Union faces one of its greatest challenges in modern history, the migration crisis, the Council on Home Affairs must exercise its authority on all fronts to deal with each layer of the interconnected challenges it faces. In addition, the Council’s jurisdiction  also deals with issues related to Europe's Schengen area, the borderless zone in which free movement exists for EU citizens and commodities.

Further, the Council is also spearheads the facilitation and strengthening of coordination of member states' actions in the field of internal security. By addressing external border protection and enhancing police and customs cooperation, the Council on Home Affairs aims to create a united security policy across the EU front.

At YMGE, this council will likely call upon its full jurisdiction when addressing a slate of issues that greatly impact the future of the EU stability. From migration crises, terrorism flare-ups, border security, and the rise of nationalist sentiment, this committee must use its full purview to contemplate solutions that will ensure EU member satisfaction and continued unity.