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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
04BRUSSELS3101
2004-07-20 15:33:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Brussels
Cable title:  

EU/JHA: TOWARD A NEW MULTI-ANNUAL PROGRAM;

Tags:   PREL  PTER  SMIG  PREF  CMGT  CVIS  KCRM  EUN  USEU  BRUSSELS 
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						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BRUSSELS 003101 

SIPDIS

DHS FOR IAO, BORDER PATROL
DOJ FOR CRM
ROME ALSO FOR INS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PTER SMIG PREF CMGT CVIS KCRM EUN USEU BRUSSELS
SUBJECT: EU/JHA: TOWARD A NEW MULTI-ANNUAL PROGRAM;
LINKING OF CRIMINAL REGISTRIES; NO EUROPOL HEAD YET

REF: USEU BRUSSELS 2477

SUMMARY
-------



1. The EU Council of Ministers for Justice and Home
Affairs (JHA) on July 19 began preparations for a
new multi-annual JHA program building on EU work
over the past five years to establish "a common area
of freedom, security and justice." Noting the
persisting deadlock on the appointment of a new
Europol Director, the Council decided to relaunch
the process from scratch: the Dutch Presidency now
expects new candidacies to be presented as a way of
overcoming the disagreement between France and
Germany. The Council also took stock of cooperation
against terrorism and heard a presentation from
Greece of security measures for the Athens Olympics.
Ministers discussed prospects to create a pan-
European criminal registry. Rather than moving
toward the creation of a brand new tool, the
Commission will propose the interconnecting national
registries and implementation of short-term measures
for exchanging information on serious criminals such
as pedophiles and serial killers. Contrary to
earlier indications, Hungary did not complain about
a Commission proposal to soften the mechanism that
allows for visas to be automatically imposed on non-
EU countries, such as the U.S., that have a visa
requirement for some Member States. Full text of
the Council conclusions has been transmitted to
EUR/ERA and Embassy The Hague. END SUMMARY.

NEW MULTIANNUAL PROGRAM


--------------------------





2. The Council held an initial "orientation debate"
on a new multi-annual program intended to build on
EU work of the past five years (known as the
"Tampere agenda") to establish "a common area of
freedom, security and justice". This discussion
will continue at Council meetings in
September-October, and should lead to endorsement by
EU leaders on November 5, 2004 of policy guidelines
covering the various JHA areas. Speaking to the
press, Dutch Justice Minister Donner said the
initial debate confirmed a widespread emphasis on
cooperation in the fight against crime and
terrorism; on rules on the admission of aliens into
the EU; and in civil, criminal and commercial law.
Donner said the exchange of information among legal
and judicial authorities of EU members would be "of
crucial significance" in the years ahead. He
reported "a great willingness to take further
effective steps." Dutch Interior Minister Remkes
also noted the need to strengthen Europol ("more
information and more analysis, leading to
operational action"). Immigration ministers further
discussed the development of a common European
asylum policy and greater coordination on
integration, which the Dutch suggest should become
an essential component of a comprehensive EU

migration policy.



3. A Presidency discussion paper on the new program
highlights the need for implementation of the
existing EU legal framework, integration of the new
Member States, and creation of a European legal and
judicial system. Donner said the general reaction
was supportive. While conceding that the level of
ambition was not uniform among delegations, he noted
that Dutch JHA planning was based on the existing
Treaty provisions, while the program itself would
extend to when the EU could be governed by its new
Constitutional Treaty. Hence the Commission
proposal for a mid-term review of the program that
could coincide with the entry into force of the
Constitution (at the end of 2006).

COUNTERTERRORISM


--------------------------





4. The Council took stock of the implementation of
the Action Plan/Roadmap following on last March's
Declaration by EU leaders on combating terrorism.
CT Coordinator de Vries recalled the CT priorities
identified by the European Council: financing,
civil protection, protection of critical
infrastructures and external relations policy.
Commissioner Vitorino drew attention to a Commission
communication on access to information by law
enforcement agencies, an item that will be further
discussed at the October 25-26 JHA Council.

SECURITY AT THE OLYMPICS


--------------------------





5. The Greek delegation reported on security
measures adopted ahead of the Olympics. Minister
Donner told a press conference the Greek measures
came across as "extremely professional, covering the
whole Greek territory and involving a large number
of people in training."

EUROPOL HEAD


--------------------------





6. Ministers could not break the deadlock on
appointment of a new Director of Europol, a position
that has been vacant since the end of June (REFTEL).
Germany has pressed for the reappointment of
outgoing Director Storbeck, while France and Italy
have pushed their own candidates. With the required
consensus proving impossible on any of the three
names, Minister Remkes told the press the ministers
concluded it would be a good idea "to relaunch the
procedure from scratch." Remkes made it clear the
Dutch expect new candidacies to be presented and
that the selection procedure should lead to "a
sensible choice of a very good candidate."
Meanwhile, Storbeck's Deputy, Spain's Mariano
Simancas, continues as acting Director. While
Spanish delegates declined to say whether they would
propose him for the top job, France is reported as
giving up on its own candidate (Franquet).

EUROPEAN CRIMINAL REGISTRY


--------------------------





7. Per request of the Belgian delegation, the
Council discussed prospects for establishing a pan-
European criminal registry. The Belgians invoked
the recent cross-border case of a serial killer who
was able to work in a Belgian school although he had
been convicted for abusing minors in France.
Minister Donner said ministers concurred the EU
eventually needs to develop a system whereby it
would be possible to exchange information, but that
a number of preventive measures were also needed for
the short-term. Commissioner Vitorino announced the
Commission would present a "white book" on the
subject by year's end, as well as legislative
proposals on the mutual recognition of convictions
and the interconnection of national criminal
registries. Prior to that, a proposal will be
tabled in October on measures for exchanging
information about serious criminals such as
pedophiles and serial killers. Donner made it clear
the EU was not likely to move toward the creation of
a brand new pan-European criminal registry, but
rather a linked-up system. He noted that France,
Spain and Germany intended to forge ahead with plans
to share their criminal records.

NEW PAPERS ON IMMIGRATION, RETURN, INTEGRATION


--------------------------

-



8. Commissioner Vitorino presented a number of
Communications to the Council, in particular:

- A Communication on a common readmission/return
policy: This outlines the main problems
encountered by the Commission in its ongoing
negotiations for the conclusion of readmission
agreements. EU sources noted that since September
2000, the Commission has been authorized to
negotiate Community readmission agreements with 11
non-EU countries or territories and that to date,
only four of these negotiations have been
successfully completed (with Hong Kong, Macao, Sri
Lanka and Albania). The main lesson learned by
the Commission is that successful conclusion of
such negotiations often requires compensatory
offers or EU "incentives." Vitorino, who is
hoping for the conclusion of an agreement with
Russia "pretty soon," complained limited EU
resources to support readmission/reintegration
actions (15m euro a year until 2006). Dutch
Minister for Immigration and Integration Verdonk
said those issues would be discussed at the
October-November JHA Councils.

- The annual report on migration and integration in
Europe: An overview of migration trends in Europe,
the report is a new instrument to review the
development of a common immigration policy. It
underlines the need for a level-playing field in
terms of admission policies for economic migrants
and the need for strengthening and developing
policy instruments to address integration of non-
EU nationals. Minister Verdonk said the Dutch
Presidency would present to the informal JHA
Council at the end of September "an approach
involving European principles on integration," to
be followed by a conference in November.

--A Communication on a single procedure for
processing of applications for protection: The
Council earlier this year formally adopted a
Directive on minimum standards for the
qualification and status of third country
nationals and stateless persons as refugees or as
persons who otherwise need international
protection (Qualification Directive) as well as a
political agreement on a Directive setting minimum
standards on procedures for granting and
withdrawing refugee status (Asylum Procedures
Directive). With these two texts, the EU will
have completed the first stage of its legislative
program for the establishment of a Common European
Asylum System. Meanwhile, EU leaders in June 2003
called for further reinforcement of asylum
procedures to make them more efficient and speed
up processing of non-protection related
applications. According to the Commission, taking
steps toward a single procedure, whereby all
possible requests for protection are addressed in
a single examination, would answer those demands.



9. Further details on these papers are available
from http://europa.eu.int/comm/justice_home/news.

MCKINLEY