Nieuws-items bij Raad Justitie en Binnenlandse Zaken ...
08-03Persbericht Raad Justitie en Binnenlandse Zaken 7 maart 2013 (en)
18-01Wetgeving bescherming datagegevens topprioriteit Iers voorzitterschap (en)
16-01Informele Raad Justitie op 18 januari 2013
14-01Agendapunten op de bijeenkomst van de Raad van Justitie en Binnenlandse Zaken (en)
24-10-2012Volle agenda voor ministers van Justitie en Binnenlandse Zaken op 25 en 26 oktober (en)
26-04-2012Raad van Ministers komt met aanbevelingen om rampenbestrijding te verbeteren (en)
28-10-2011Voorlopige conclusies van de Raad Justitie en Binnenlandse Zaken van 27 oktober 2011 (en)
09-06-2011Conclusies JBZ-raad over intern en extern anti-terrorismebeleid (en)
09-06-2011Conclusie JBZ-raad over asielbeleid (en)
09-06-2011Conclusie JBZ-raad over bestrijding georganiseerde criminaliteit (en)
12-05-2011Resultaten Raad voor JBZ van 12 mei (en)
12-04-2011Verslag Raadsvergadering Justitie en Binnenlandse Zaken, 11-12 april 2011 (en)
11-04-2011Conclusies Raad over immagratiecrisis in het Middellandse Zeegebied (en)
25-02-2011Raad Justitie en Binnenlandse Zaken bespreekt Schengenzone en Arabische vluchtelingen (en)
01-12-2010Agendapunten voor de Raad Justitie en Binnenlandse Zaken van 2-3 december 2010 (en)
08-11-2010Raad Justitie en Binnenlandse Zaken op 8-9 November bijeen in Brussel (en)
08-10-2010EU-ministers van Justitie keuren wet goed voor vertaal- en interpretatierechten in strafzaken (en)
06-10-2010JBZ-raad komt op 7-8 Oktober bijeen in Luxemburg (en)
04-06-2010Statement van Eurocommissaris Viviane Reding na afloop vergadering Raad Justitie en Binnenlandse Zaken (en)
02-06-2010Ministers van Justitie bespreken drugshandel en scheidingsrecht in bijeenkomst 3 en 4 juni (en)
European Union Justice and Home Affairs ministers will meet in Luxembourg on 3 and 4 June 2010 to discuss security and immigration policies as well as citizens' access to justice. The European Commission will be represented by Vice-President Viviane Reding, the Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Commissioner, and Cecilia Malmström, Home Affairs Commissioner.
Main agenda items for Home Affairs ministers (3 June):
-Council Conclusions on the Action Plan on Unaccompanied Minors
-Follow-up on the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum
-Schengen Information System II (SIS II): timeline and costs
-Directive on combating trafficking of human beings (on Friday 4 June)
Main agenda items for Justice Ministers (4 June):
-Bringing legal certainty to cross-border divorce
-European Protection Order
-Ensuring fair trial rights in the EU
-EU's accession to the European Convention on Human Rights
The Council will issue conclusions on the Commission's action plan for justice and security that was adopted on 20 April (IP/10/447). The proposals, which will be implemented for the next five years, follow the political objectives in the Stockholm Programme of December 2009.
Home Affairs issues (Home Affairs Commissioner Malmström):
1.Action Plan on Unaccompanied Minors
The Council will discuss the Action Plan on Unaccompanied Minors (IP/10/534, MEMO/10/168) that was adopted by the Commission at the beginning of May.
Background: The Action Plan on Unaccompanied Minors proposes a common approach and coordinated response to the phenomenon of unaccompanied minors arriving to EU territory from third-countries. It is based on 10 principles that aim at increasing the protection of unaccompanied minors and concern issues such as child-specific reception measures and procedural guarantees relating to guardianship and legal representation, or the recommendation to reach a decision on the future of each unaccompanied minor within the shortest possible period, preferably within six months. Depending on the assessment of the best interests of the child, all possible efforts should be undertaken to reunite the child with the family or to find alternative solutions, including granting international protection status or resettlement in the EU.
The Action Plan proposes an EU approach based on three main strands for action: prevention of unsafe migration and trafficking, reception and procedural guarantees in the EU and identification of durable solutions.
What is expected at this Council? The Council is expected to adopt the Council Conclusions on the Action Plan. These conclusions will be an important step towards ensuring that the common EU approach on unaccompanied minors becomes a reality.
2.Follow-up on the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum
On 6 May 2010, the European Commission presented its first annual Report on Immigration and Asylum (SEC(2010) 535).
Background: The report is a result of a request from the European Council, which in October 2008 adopted the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum, and decided to hold an annual debate on these issues. The Council invited the Commission to present a report to the Council each year, based on Member States' contributions, including proposals for both Member States and the Union for recommendations on the implementation of this Pact and of the Stockholm Programme.
This first annual report shows that progress has been made but that more needs to be done in order for the EU to meet the challenges of immigration. It states further that the EU needs legal immigration as it can play an important role in filling labour shortages and meeting demographic challenges of the future.
What is expected at this Council? The Council is expected to highlight the progress made by the EU and its Member States within the area of Immigration and Asylum during the past year, and identify issues that require more effort in the years to come - such as greater ambitions on integration, enhanced control and surveillance of EU borders, and stronger cooperation with third countries of origin and transit.
3.Schengen Information System II (SIS II): timeline and costs
Background: The Justice and Home Affairs Council decided on 23 April that the development of SIS II will continue on the basis of the current project and invited the Commission to present a comprehensive global schedule for the entry into force of SIS II to the Council at its meeting on 3-4 June 2010.
The new proposed date of entry into force of SIS II is now the first quarter of 2013.
What is expected at this Council? The Commission will provide a state of play as regards the development of SIS II and inform the Council on the outline of the global schedule and of the budgetary estimate for SIS II, as concluded in the last Council meeting of 23 April.
4.Directive on combating trafficking of human beings
In the framework of the Justice Council on June 4, there will be a public debate on the state of play of the Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on combating the sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography and on the same day the Council is also called to reach a general approach on the Directive on combating trafficking of human beings. More specifically on trafficking:
The Commission recently proposed EU rules that would oblige EU Member States to strengthen the combat against trafficking in human beings on three fronts: prosecuting criminals responsible for trafficking human beings, protecting the victims and preventing offences.
Background: This new proposal builds on a legislative proposal made in 2009 to replace existing rules in force since 2002 (IP/09/472). After the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the former proposal has to be reshaped. This will also allow for the Commission to verify that EU law is correctly transposed into national rules and take those countries that are not complying to Court.
The proposals will be discussed in the EU Parliament and the Council of Ministers and once approved should be transposed into national legislation.
What is expected at this Council? The Council wishes to reach a general approach on the proposal for a Directive, in view of coming negotiations with the European Parliament.
Justice issues (Justice Vice- President Reding):
1.Bringing legal certainty to cross-border divorces
On 24 March 2010, the Commission proposed a measure (IP/10/347) to allow international couples to choose which country's laws apply to their divorce. The plan followed a request from nine EU Member States that wanted to move forward after a 2006 Commission proposal became deadlocked in the Council. The new solution will help couples of different nationalities, those living apart in different countries or those living together in a country other than their home country. The aim is to lessen the burden on children and to protect weaker partners during divorce disputes.
It would be the first time in EU history that Member States use the so-called “enhanced cooperation” mechanism. Under the EU Treaties, enhanced cooperation allows nine or more countries to move forward on a measure that is important but blocked by a small minority of Member States. Other EU countries keep the right to join when they want.
What is expected at this Council? Three countries - Germany, Belgium and Latvia - are now seeking approval for enhanced cooperation along with the nine countries (Greece was initially part of the plan and later withdrew its request). Justice Ministers are expected to approve the 12 Member States’ request. The European Parliament will then be asked to give its consent.
The second part of the proposal is a Council Regulation implementing the new rules on applicable laws. Justice Ministers will tackle this measure at a later Council meeting.
2.European Protection Order
The idea behind a European Protection Order is that judicial protection for victims of violence or someone under the threat of violence should extend across the EU. Citizens’ free movement rights within the EU should not be impeded because they risk losing the protection available to them in their home country when they cross borders.
Commission position: The Commission fully endorses the goal of protecting victims of violence. We must tackle this serious issue in a fully co-ordinated manner and provide legal certainty to victims.
All protection measures, whether they fall under civil or criminal law, should be covered by EU-wide rules. However, the current legal basis can only cover criminal law protection measures (Article 82 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU). Civil law protection measures must be dealt with under a different legal basis (Article 81 TFEU).
The current proposal under discussion by Justice Ministers lacks clarity and may cause confusion for judicial authorities. Victims may miss out on the potential benefits of EU-wide recognition of protection measures.
The Commission favours a broad scope for victims' protection. They should be protected throughout the EU, regardless of whether a country uses criminal or civil law proceedings for protection orders. Therefore, it will carry out an impact assessment and an evaluation of existing rules. It will present a comprehensive package of measures in 2011 to protect victims' rights.
What is expected at this Council? Ministers will try to reach a general agreement for an EU Directive establishing a European Protection Order, including the scope of the instrument, which would then have to be approved by both Council and Parliament.
Background: Under EU rules, Member States may propose initiatives under Article 82 TFEU. However, the Commission has the sole right of initiative in civil law matters falling within the scope of the Single Market (Article 81 TFEU).
The Commission is reviewing the rights and support provided to victims of crime, particularly the 2001 Framework Decision on the standing of victims in criminal proceedings, and the 2004 Council Directive relating to compensation for victims of crime.
There are around 4.5 million successions a year in the EU, of which about 10% have an international dimension. These successions are valued at about €123 billion a year.
EU-wide coordination is needed to ensure that such successions are treated efficiently. On 14 October 2009, the Commission proposed (IP/09/1508) allowing one authority to deal with a succession under a single law, which would - by default - be the habitual residence of the deceased.
What is expected at this Council? The Council will agree on political guidelines for future work on this issue.
4.Ensuring fair trial rights in the EU
On 9 March 2010, the Commission proposed legislation to help people exercise their fair trial rights anywhere in the EU when they cannot understand the language of the case (IP/10/249). EU countries would be obliged to provide full interpretation and translation services to suspects.
The European Parliament backed EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding's call for strong protection of the right to interpretation and translation on 8 April (MEMO/10/122).
What is expected at this Council? The Council will decide whether to approve a compromise agreement reached between the Council, Commission and the rapporteur for the European Parliament on 27 May. This agreement closely follows the high standards set out in the Commission proposal. The Council will now invite the European Parliament to vote, first in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) and then in full (plenary) session.
Background: This is the first step in a series of measures to set common EU standards in criminal cases. The Lisbon Treaty enables the EU to adopt measures to strengthen the rights of EU citizens, in line with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
5.EU’s accession to the European Convention on Human Rights
The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) enshrines the human rights and freedoms and is widely seen as the most important human rights instrument in Europe. It has 47 contracting parties (including all 27 EU Member States but not the EU as such) and is managed by the Council of Europe (CoE). The ECHR is an international Treaty by which governments can be held accountable for their respect of human rights.
Before the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty the EU could not sign up to the Convention as a legal entity, even though all individual 27 EU Member States are signatories. The Lisbon Treaty now provides the legal basis and an obligation (Article 6 (2) TEU: "The Union shall accede") for the EU's accession to the ECHR. (MEMO/10/84)
Once the EU itself becomes party to the Convention all acts of Union institutions and bodies will be subject to the scrutiny of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
The accession will complete the EU's system of protecting citizens' fundamental rights and is therefore of high symbolic and practical significance for EU citizens and anyone who lives in the Union.
What is expected at this Council? The Council will approve the negotiating mandate for the EU’s accession to the ECHR. The Commission will have a clear mandate to negotiate the technical and procedural adaptations to the Convention.