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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05BRUSSELS1514
2005-04-15 14:29:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Brussels
Cable title:  

WARSAW WINS SEAT OF EU BORDER AGENCY; EU

Tags:  PREL PREF SMIG PL AL LY EUN USEU BRUSSELS 
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						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BRUSSELS 001514 

SIPDIS

DHS FOR BTS, CBP, ICE
DOJ FOR CRM
ROME ALSO FOR DHS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PREF SMIG PL AL LY EUN USEU BRUSSELS
SUBJECT: WARSAW WINS SEAT OF EU BORDER AGENCY; EU
TO INTENSIFY CONTACTS WITH LIBYA ON MIGRATION FLOWS


SUMMARY
-------



1. EU Justice and Home Affairs Ministers (JHA
Council) on April 14 agreed that Warsaw would be the
seat of the newly created Agency for the management
of the EU external borders. The ministers also
agreed to intensify contacts with Libya in order to
combat illegal immigration, while insisting that
cooperation must be based on respect for the Geneva
Refugee Convention (which Libya has not signed).
The Council tasked the Commission to submit a
proposal for setting up a mutual information system
among Member State authorities in the immigration
and asylum areas. The EU also signed a readmission
agreement with Albania. Justice-related matters
discussed at the meeting will be reported SEPTEL.
END SUMMARY.

EUROPEAN AGENCY FOR MANAGEMENT OF EXTERNAL BORDERS


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



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





2. Following hours-long negotiations among EU
Justice and Home Affairs Ministers (JHA Council) on
April 14, Luxembourg Justice Minister/Council chair
Frieden announced that Warsaw would be the seat of
the Agency for the management of the EU external
borders. Frieden thus succeeded to break another EU
deadlock, after the appointment by the JHA Council
of a new head of EUROPOL last February. The Agency,
the creation of which was decided last year, will be
tasked "to facilitate the application of existing
and future Community measures concerning management
of the EU's external borders by coordinating Member
States' actions to implement those measures."
Budapest, Valletta, Ljubljana and Tallinn were also
candidates for hosting the Agency but Poland as the
country with the longest stretch among the new EU
members argued that its capital would be the logical
choice. (Note: Poland's border with Belarus is the
primary entry point for the EU's largest group of
asylum seekers: Russian citizens, primarily
Chechens. End Note.)



3. Delays in deciding on a venue and a director for
the new border agency were becoming an embarrassment
for the Luxembourg Presidency. Speaking to the
press, a jubilant Frieden presented the deal as
"another proof that the EU-25 can function, even
when consensus is required." The decision should
enable the Agency to "become operational as soon as
possible, since it is supposed to begin its work on
May 1." The deal will also "allow the budgetary
authorities to release the necessary funds and the
Board of Directors to soon appoint the Agency's
Director, based on a short list that the Commission
will submit." A Commission contact privately told
us that a Finnish candidate looks best placed to be
the first head of the Agency.

IMMIGRATION COOPERATION WITH LIBYA


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





4. Commission Vice-President Frattini reported on a
mission of information conducted to Tripoli at the
end of 2004 with a view to exploring possible
cooperation between the EU and Libya in the fight
against illegal immigration. Luxembourg Minister
delegate for Immigration Schmit told a press
conference ensuing discussions in the Council showed
"a willingness to continue along the path of
cooperation and intensified cooperation with Libya,
which is moving closer to the Barcelona Process."
Schmit specified that the rapprochement with Libya
should be based on respect of principles of the 1951
Geneva Convention (which Libya has not signed) and
explained that the EU wanted to "assist Libya with
the setting up of institutions to implement these
principles" and "to better protect the many refugees
who are in that country."


5. Frattini opined that the report from the fact-
finding mission, which included representatives from
several Member States, highlighted the "rules to be
respected regarding the protection of fundamental
rights." Frattini said the Commission would present
a pilot project for cooperation on migration
policies with the region. The plan would have
"nothing to do with the financing of camps in
transit countries" (a reference to an earlier
controversy over a proposal to set up migrant
processing centers in Libya and other countries
outside the EU). When asked how the EU could
justify cooperating with the country that has
sentenced Bulgarian health workers to death,
Minister Schmit referred to the EU's continuing
efforts to seek their release, while arguing that it
cannot ignore the problem of illegal immigration.

EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION ON MIGRATION POLICIES


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





6. The Council adopted conclusions without
discussion, paving the way for the setting up of a
mutual information system among Member State
authorities in the areas of migration and asylum.
Member States are expected to tell each other about
any measure in the pipeline that could have an
impact on the other countries or the EU as a whole.
The Commission was tasked to submit a formal
proposal by the end of May 2005. The initiative,
spearheaded by the Luxembourg Presidency and
Frattini, was prompted by the decision of the
Spanish government earlier this year to regularize
non-EU nationals illegally working in Spain.
Frattini made it clear his proposal would cover "all
kinds of decisions, whether they effect illegal or
legal immigration."

READMISSION AGREEMENT WITH ALBANIA


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





7. On the fringes of the meeting, the EU signed a
readmission agreement with Albania, the fourth pact
of that sort coming after similar agreements with
Macao, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka. As a general
principle, these pacts (which the EU has been at
pains negotiating with other countries such as
Russia, Ukraine, Algeria, and Morocco) provide for
each contracting party to readmit its own nationals,
who have been illegally residing in the other
contracting party. Minister Schmit hailed the new
pact as "a significant and encouraging signal" and a
useful step on the path toward Albania's concluding
a Stabilization and Association Agreement with the
EU. Schmit used the occasion to press Albania to
undertake further reforms, particularly against
organized crime, trafficking, and corruption; to
strengthen the judicial system and public
administration; and to ensure the proper operation
of democracy and preserve the political stability
needed to rapidly implement reforms.

JHA FINANCIAL PROGRAMS


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





8. Vice-President Frattini presented the Commission
detailed proposals for EU programs in the area of
justice, freedom and security under the proposed EU
financial framework for 2007-2013. Under this
package, EUR 5.9 billion/USD 7.5 billion would be
earmarked for border control, asylum and immigration
projects. German Interior Minister Schily, whose
country is seeking to limit EU expenditure to 1.0
percent of the EU's GNI over the period, said the
Commission proposals were not acceptable as such and
cautioned not to earmark EU funds for matters
falling in the scope of national competencies. In
particular, border control was "a matter for
national authorities" and EU financing could only be
envisaged for cooperation projects involving all EU-
25 such as the above-mentioned Agency for the
management of the EU external borders.

MCKINLEY