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Background to the JLS issues to be discussed at the European Council meeting on 14 December 2007

The European Council on 14th December will consider a large number of JLS issues. This memo provides a brief outline of these issues as well as links to background documents. In addition, it highlights relevant initiatives and proposals to be introduced, discussed and/or adopted in 2008.
Free Movement

Schengen: On the 6-7th of December 2007, the JHA Council adopted a decision on the lifting of land and sea borders as of 21st of December 2007 (00.00h); and at airports as of 31st March 2008. On 21-22nd of December the Portuguese Presidency (together with the Member States concerned) is organising Schengen enlargement ceremonies in 4 locations.

Background Documents:

Frequently asked questions on Schengen

Proposed agenda for Schengen extension celebrations

Schengen Enlargement – Press release and Memo (to be issued 20 December 2007)

Agenda items for 2008

– Lifting of border controls at airports in New Member Countries in March 2008.

– On the basis of the evaluation of FRONTEX and in particular of the evaluation of the teams of national experts (RABIT), the feasibility of establishing a European system of border guards should be assessed.

Migration and Asylum

Global Approach to Migration: The European Council will discussthe need for a renewed political commitment to a Comprehensive European Migration Policy and in that respect the Commission’s Communication on a Common Immigration Policy. It will also address the importance of cooperation with third countries for the purpose of well-managed migration flows and fight against illegal immigration, the European Council will consider the progress being made in the implementation of the Global Approach to Migration.

Blue Card and Common Rights: The European Council will discuss the Commission’s proposals on the admission of third country nationals for the purpose of highly qualified employment and on a single application procedure and a common set of rights for legally residing third country workers.

Migration and Employment: In line with the Council conclusions of 4 December 2007, the European Council will cover the link between migration and employment growth, labour markets, adjustment capacity, productivity, competitiveness and public finances. The Council and the European Parliament will be expected to reach agreement by the end of 2008 (at the latest) on the proposals on sanctions against employers of illegally staying third country nationals. Work should also be taken forward following the Commission’s communication on undeclared work.

Common European Asylum System: The European Council will discuss the need to progress the future Common European Asylum System (CEAS) with a view to its realisation by 2010. A number of specific measures in 2008 will serve the ongoing aim of achieving a CEAS by 2010.

Integration: A fundamental and pivotal element of the comprehensive European migration policy. The European Council will look at better coordination between migration and integration policies is a priority.

Background Documents:
– Making Europe more attractive to highly skilled migrants and increasing the protection of lawfully residing and working migrants.

– Illegal employment sanctions

– Global Approach to Migration

– Transposition of European rules on procedures for granting asylum


– Green Paper on the future Common European Asylum System
Green Paper on the future Common European Asylum System


Agenda items for 2008

I. Adoption of Directive on sanctions against employers of illegal third-country nationals

II. Commission communications on:

(a) an entry/exit system at the external borders;
(b) the future development of Frontex; and
(c) a European Border Surveillance System.
III. Initiatives as part of 2008 Year of Intercultural Dialogue.

Civil Justice and Security

Police and judicial cooperation: The European Council is expected to underline the importance of Eurojust and Europol.

European Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ): It is accepted that a common Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ) requires strengthening of police and judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters. This is envisaged along two lines. Firstly, by consolidating and completing the legal framework as well as ensuring its full implementation; and, secondly, by improving practical cooperation.

Therefore, the European Council is expected to reaffirm the need to enhance access to justice in the European Union. It welcomes the political agreement on mediation on civil and commercial matters which will allow citizens and business to have access to an alternative dispute resolution mechanism enabling them to solve their cross border disputes in and effective way and on the Regulation on the law applicable to contractual obligations (Rome I). These are important elements of the European Justice Area.

Background Documents:
– Europol: une organisation européenne destinée à assurer la coordination transfrontalière entre les autorités répressives des Etats membres de l’Union européenne

– Europeans citizens and businesses to benefit from greater legal certainty and greater access to justice

– Communication on the role of Eurojust and the European Judicial Network

– European Union brings in harmonised rules on law applicable to civil liability (“Rome II” Regulation)

– The European Community and Denmark further judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters as two agreements enter into force

– Strengthening co-operation in civil and commercial matters with Switzerland, Norway, and Iceland

– Council adopts common position concerning Regulation establishing a European Small Claims Procedure



Counter-Terrorism Strategy: Counter-terrorism measures to prevent terrorists using the internet; developing a European system of collecting Passenger Name Records and an action plan on explosives were all presented in November. In addition to this, important work has recently been undertaken on prevention of terrorism and notably on the protection of critical infrastructures and countering biological, radiological and non-conventional threats.

Background Documents
– Fight Against Terrorism: stepping up Europe’s capability to protect citizens against the threat of terrorism

– Amendment of the Framework Decision on combating terrorism and Evaluation report on the implementation of the Framework Decision on combating terrorism

– Action Plan on Enhancing the Security of Explosives

MEMO/07/450 .

– Proposal for a COUNCIL FRAMEWORK DECISION on the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) for law enforcement purposes

Agenda items for 2008

I. Communication in mid-2008 on prevention of terrorism by tackling violent radicalisation
For more information on the activities of Vice-President Frattini, please visit his website at

Pierre Perrin-Monlouis
Pierre Perrin-Monlouis
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