Future priorities for the establishment of an area of freedom, security and justice
Justice and Home Affairs
All citizens and organisations are welcome to contribute to this consultation.
Period of consultation
To 31 August 2004
Objective of the consultation
For the future, priorities following on from Tampere must be finalised but greater attention must be paid to the national implementation of the instruments adopted.
- Adequate institutional and financial resources must be provided for attaining the new objectives.
- The adoption and entry into force of the new Constitutional Treaty will make it easier to meet the chief expectations and to raise the level of demands made as regards transparency and democratic answerability, both with the extension of the European Parliament's role in the co-decision process and with the extended role of the national parliaments. The possibilities offered by the Nice Treaty should be used in the meantime.
- Regarding the protection of fundamental rights, the adoption of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the entry into force of the Nice Treaty make the penalties scheme more operational, which is a vital step forwards. Incorporating the Charter in the Constitutional Treaty will complete this process.
Union citizenship will continue to be promoted by measures relating to participation in democratic life and securing full freedom of movement in the European frontier-free area.
Regarding asylum, the second phase must be launched and a uniform refugee and subsidiary protection status must be determined, with a common procedure for recognising and withdrawing the status.
Regarding immigration, the economic and demographic evolution of our continent will require the adoption of a strategy based in a balanced way on legal admission for employment purposes and the promotion of integration and the fight against illegal immigration and trafficking in human beings.
Regarding judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters, the implementation of the mutual recognition principle needs to go further and deeper, in particular as regards family law and the enforcement of judgments, in order to guarantee rapid and effective procedures so that individuals and firms can genuinely exercise their rights.
Regarding judicial cooperation in criminal matters, the process will have to be continued as regards both mutual assistance and the enforcement of the judgments in criminal matters, and the creation of a European register of convictions and disqualifications will certainly constitute a new important cooperation tool. In criminal matters as in civil matters, the development of mutual recognition must always be subject to respect for the Member States' differing legal traditions. As regards approximation of criminal legislation, certain matters still remain to be studied in greater depth to combat organised crime more effectively, but above all effective use must be made of instruments already adopted, whose impact must be evaluated.
Eurojust and Europol must acquire full status among European mechanisms for combating crime and constitute supporting central points and information exchange facilities for the national authorities. And the potential of Eurojust and Europol must be enhanced. Following the entry into force of the new Constitutional Treaty, there will have to be more effective institutional mechanisms allowing better democratic control and judicial review of Europol.
The fight against terrorism will remain among the Union's priorities. Financial crime must also be targeted, as this will help to combat terrorism and other forms of crime such as trafficking in human beings and drugs.
As regards the fight against drugs, the Action Plan of the European Union 2000-2004 is expiring, and following a detailed evaluation, a new long-term strategy accompanied by two Action Plans will be launched for the years ahead in order to establish priorities for action.
- In recent years the Union has made a great effort to ensure that external policies adequately reflected the justice and home affairs dimension.
The subjects involved are sensitive and at the focus of the interest of the European citizens. Therefore, the Commission launched a public consultation process which ended on 31 August 2004 to help in the definition of the new programme.
Number of responses received to this consultation
View the contributions
38 civil society organisations [55 KB] contributed to the definition of the new multiannual programme (Tampere II), which will be endorsed by the 5 November European Council
Civil Society, Non-Governmental Organisations, Others
Results of consultation and next steps