Priorités de la présidence Slovène et ordre du jour provisoire du Conseil Justice et Affaires intérieures du 28 et 29 février 2008
mise en ligne :10 01 2008 ( NEA say… n° 45 )
Slovenian Presidency will conclude the first trio presidency of
The citizens of the European Union are lucky to be living in a multi-cultural environment of democratic countries striving together for peace and prosperity. All 27 states, although having different languages, cultures and traditions, advocate the respect of basic human standards – freedom, democracy, security, social justice. Following the basic values of the European Union, ensuring human rights and respecting the rule of law are permanent tasks of every presidency.
We live in an era when the issue of security is becoming increasingly important. Climate changes and economic differences between the developed and non-developed countries have intensified migration flows directed towards the European Union. There are many challenges that have to be faced by the European Union, and
In the field of home affairs, key focus will be placed on strengthened cooperation between European police forces, surveillance of the external border, legislative regulation of the status of legal migrants, fight against organised crime and terrorism, prevention of illegal migration and protection of privacy of our citizens.
Slovenian Presidency has been particularly marked by the recent lifting of the internal borders and the enlargement of the free movement area. It is certainly a great privilege for all states to be part of this area, while also representing a large responsibility for
The abolition of the borders between the EU Member States will require tighter cooperation between the judicial authorities in criminal matters, and the Slovenian Presidency shall strive to enhance mutual recognition of court decisions between the Member States, to achieve adequate protection of the environment through criminal law for the whole Community and to strengthen the role of Eurojust.
As regards the initiatives in the area of judicial cooperation in civil matters, we shall place
particular attention on making headway in the field of family law, since such matters have a direct impact on the citizens’ lives. Further, this relates to the follow-up on the work in the field of EJustice, which is a common priority of the trio presidency.
For a freer and safer
Strengthening the area of freedom, security and justice is one of the main focuses of the
Slovenian Presidency. Safeguarding freedom and justice within the
High priority should still be given to implementation of the second generation of the Schengen Information System (SIS II).
A common asylum and migration policy has to focus on closer partnership and cooperation with third countries – especially with countries of origin and transit. In this context,
Further harmonization of European visa policy and visa procedures will play a central role in combating illegal migration and trafficking in human beings, as well as in countering international terrorism. Thus,
With regard to third-country nationals who are staying illegally on the territory of a Member State, Slovenia will seek intensified cooperation in return policy. In this respect, it is urgent to find a compromise for the adoption of the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on Common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals, which is currently in first reading with the European Parliament. Rapid negotiation and adoption of readmission agreements by the Community, as well as cooperation in return operations – in particular with mutual and FRONTEX support – are of particular importance.
Due to the necessity of protecting the EU external borders and of maintaining and improving border control quality standards, Slovenia will promote a political discussion on the evaluation of the European Border Agency (FRONTEX), the results of which must be submitted by the European Commission at the beginning of 2008.; The outcome of this discussion should provide for an analysis whether and to what extent new tasks can be assigned to the Agency.
Operational cooperation between EU Member States and with EU structures, in particular EUROPOL is another of our goal. This includes legal and practical measures to intensify cooperation between all competent authorities named in Title VI of the EU Treaty, including customs and other specialized law enforcement authorities.
Our police and security authorities need quicker and easier access to relevant information. Cross-border cooperation needs to be optimized and to be governed by the same principles as cooperation at home. European institutions need to be integrated into this cooperation without duplicating efforts. For these reasons we seek to expand the European information network in a sustainable manner by giving our police and security authorities the best access to data, thus creating a base of comprehensive and current information. This is essential to fight terrorism and cross-border crime; to strengthen the role of EUROPOL by extending its legal framework in order to enable EUROPOL to assist Member States in combating serious international crimes to an even higher
degree than to date; to further improve operational cooperation between EU Member States and competent EU bodies using concrete measures, with a focus being placed on prevention as an important element in fighting crime; and to ensure that JHA requirements are given a high priority also in the EU's external relations.
In parallel an in order to raise the level of security of personal data,
1. Asylum and refugee policy
As a follow-up to the public debate on the Green Paper on the future Common European Asylum System (CEAS), Slovenia will conduct a political debate in the Council on possible main elements of the future CEAS. It will focus on elaborating possibilities to strengthen practical cooperation between Member States and to explore in more depth the possible establishment of a European Support Office.
Depending on the outcome of the debate,
amending Council Directive 109/2003/EC concerning the status of third-country nationals who are long-term residents to extend its scope to beneficiaries of international protection. The possibility for this extension was agreed in May 2003 by a Joint Statement from the Council and the Commission.
In the second half of its presidency, Slovenia will also commence the first reading of a proposal for a regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No. 2725/2000 of 11 December 2000 concerning the establishment of EURODAC for the comparison of fingerprints for the effective application of the Dublin Convention, as well as a proposal for a Council decision allowing law enforcement authorities to have access to EURODAC. Both proposals are of a great importance for making the EURODAC system more efficient.
Together with the European Commission,
under international law related to the readmission of own nationals.
2. Fighting illegal migration
The European Visa Information System (VIS) must become a central element of European cooperation in the fight against illegal migration and “visa shopping”, as well as an instrument to support measures against organized crime – in particular smuggling and trafficking in human beings – and international terrorism. In this regard, Slovenian Presidency will explore possible interaction between the
In addition, drawing up guidelines containing specific instructions for local consular officials at the Community level is foreseen. This instrument should then replace the existing provisions applicable in this area thus far, especially the Common Consular Instructions and the relevant sections of the Convention Implementing the Schengen Agreement.
To ensure a uniform policy is applied with regard to issuing visas,
A cornerstone of the European security architecture is the use of biometric features in visas, residence permits, passports and other identification documents.
b) Return policy
Another important step in the same direction is for
c)External border protection
During its presidency,
Based on a study of the Commission,
possibilities for a development of a system for registering third-country nationals upon entry into and exit from the Schengen area. The use of this system could, if feasible, yield a significant amount of information relevant in the fight against illegal migration, organized crime and international terrorism, as it would allow, for example, identifying who or when a person enters or exits a
As a counterpoint to the entry/exit system, the Commission will present the outcome of the feasibility study on a registered traveller programme. During its presidency,
The importance these discussions that will influence future development in the area of freedom, security and justice has led
Our aim is for the Council to adopt conclusions providing political guidelines for future work in this field.
3. Legal migration, integration
Directive on the conditions of entry and residence of highly qualified workers, and the Directive on application procedure for a single permit and on a common set of rights for third-country national immigrants. These proposals, presented in accordance with the December 2005 Policy Plan on Legal Migration, seek to prepare a European response to demographic demands for migrant labour on the EU labour market.
The main challenge of the upcoming proposals will be to find the right set of rights of third country workers to ensure their equal treatment and facilitate their mobility in the labour market.
attractive work destination for highly qualified workers.
4. Strengthening the role of EUROPOL
The increasingly pan-European and international nature of crime requires strengthening the role of European Police Office (EUROPOL) by further amending its legal framework in order to enable EUROPOL to assist the Member States in combating serious international crimes to an even higher degree than to date. EUROPOL’s capacities for sharing and analysing information must be expanded and intensified. The added value that EUROPOL presents in operational terms needs to be highlighted.
During its meeting on 4 and 5 December 2006, the Council agreed that, on the grounds that it would constitute a clear improvement of the operational and administrative functioning of EUROPOL, the EUROPOL Convention should be replaced by a Council decision, thus transforming EUROPOL into an EU agency.
On 22 December 2006, the Commission presented a proposal for a Council decision establishing the EUROPOL. The German and Portuguese Presidencies made significant progress in this discussion. During the Slovenian Presidency, the proposal for a Council decision should be finalized and political agreement reached. This timetable would enable EUROPOL to adopt all legal acts necessary to implement the proposal for a Council decision and to continue with its operative work after 1 January 2010, when the Council decision should apply.
5. Specific measures to intensify cooperation in counter-terrorism
Terrorism is a threat to all states and to all peoples. It poses a serious threat to our security, to the values of our democratic societies, and to the rights and freedoms of our citizens, especially through the indiscriminate targeting of innocent people. Terrorism is criminal and unjustifiable under any circumstances.
In the area of external relations the presidency would like to provide information to the Western Balkans on good practices for combating terrorism in the EU. The best practices recommended to EU Member States as a result of the first round of EU peer evaluation of national counterterrorism arrangements (2002–2006) would serve as an appropriate base for developing counterterrorism structures and communication networks also in the Western Balkan countries.
Furthermore, the presidency will focus on possible processes of radicalization and recruitment to terrorism in the Western Balkans.
The Slovenian Presidency is also interested in identifying sources and methods of financing terrorism within and outside the EU, and in preparing recommendations which could serve as a basis for amending the EU Action Plan on Combating Terrorism and the strategy against terrorist financing. Furthermore, the Slovenian Presidency would also like to study the links between drug trafficking and terrorism in view of possibly issuing recommendations or Council conclusions on the issue. The presidency intends to see to what extent the phenomenon exists in the EU, its neighbouring regions (such as South Eastern Europe and North africa) and in several key countries (such as
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