European Area of Freedom Security and Justice : Council draft Agendas for the First Semester 2013

In compliance with the principle of transparency and in order to improve the decision making process the Council of the European Union organize its internal works in the framework of two main instruments:

a) A 18 months program prepared by a the pre-established group of three Member States holding the Presidency of the Council. The draft Program shall be prepared in close cooperation with the Commission and the President of the European Council, and after appropriate consultations it should be endorsed by the General Affairs Council. (art.2 p6 of the Council Rules of Procedure).
The current “Trio Presidency” program cover the last 18 months of the legislature : Ireland (January-June 2013) Lithuania (July -December 2013) and Greece (January –June 2014).

b) A 6 months Programme which is prepared and diffused by the incoming Council Presidency. This program “shall establish, for each Council configuration, and after appropriate consultations, draft agendas for Council meetings scheduled for the next six-month period, showing the legislative work and operational decisions envisaged” (art.2 p7 of the Council Rules of Procedures). It is worth recalling that according to a Council Declaration “‘The President will endeavour to ensure that, in principle, the provisional agenda for each meeting of the Council dealing with implementation of the Title of the TFEU relating to the area of freedom, security and justice and any documents relating to the items involved reach members of the Council at least 21 days before the beginning of the meeting.”
The current Irish Presidency 6 months Program foresee two formal meetings of the Justice and Home Affairs Council on March 7-8th and on June 6-7th.

An informal Justice and Home affairs Council meeting is already foreseen on 17th/18th of January . It is worth recalling that this kind of Meeting is devoted to strategic debates and no formal votes can take place. For the incoming meeting the main issues to be debated are :
*”Migration for Growth”,
*“Greek National Action Plan on Asylum & Migration” an
*“Update on Situation in Syria (Presented by key EU agencies such as Frontex and EASO).
The second day will be devoted to :
*”Internal Security and Growth”,
*“European cross-border Insolvency law” and certain aspects of the European Data Protection reform.

The main issues to be debated respectively for the “Home affairs” and “Justice” at the formal Council meetings are the following:

First Formal JHA Council Meeting (7-8 MARCH 2013)

HOME SECURITY RELATED ISSUES

The draft agenda list several “general approaches”. Needless to say that the Council describe a “general approach” the political agreement to be reached pending the first-reading position of the European Parliament (a general approach could be “partial” if it covers only parts of the proposed legislative act).

On the integrated border management:
* Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR)

On Schengen Governance :
* Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) N° 562/2006 in order to provide for common rules on the temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders in exceptional circumstances. A political agreement is foreseen for the Proposal for a Council Regulation on the establishment of an evaluation mechanism to verify the application of the Schengen acquis (the new legal basis will be art. 70 TFEU instead of art. 77 which required the Parliament codecision).

It still an open question if the Council will adopt the Decision on the full application of the provisions of the Schengen acquis in the Republic of Bulgaria and Romania

On legal migration :
* Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer
* Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of seasonal employment


On the financial dimension of EAFSJ policies
:
* Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down general provisions on the Asylum and Migration Fund and on the instrument for financial support for police cooperation, preventing and combating crime, and crisis management
* Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the Asylum and Migration Fund
* Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing, as part of the Internal Security Fund, the instrument for financial support for external borders and visa
* Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing, as part of the Internal Security Fund, the instrument for financial support for police cooperation, preventing and combating crime, and crisis management

Debates (without vote) are currently foressen for :
* Common European Asylum System
* EU Counter-Terrorism Strategy – Discussion paper
* Joint Commission – High Representative proposal on the solidarity clause (Art. 222 TFEU)
* Draft Council conclusions on the provision of information on rights to victims of trafficking in human beings
* Draft Council Conclusions on security-related industrial policy and research (probably adopted)

* Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending regulation (EC) no 539/2001 listing the third country whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders of member states and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement. [The positive list]

The Council will also decide the date of application to the Member States participating in the SIS 1+ of COUNCIL DECISION 533/2007 JHA and of Regulation (EC) No 1987/2006 on the establishment, operation and use of the second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II).

As usual in the margins of the Council the “MIXED COMMITTEE” (which meets together also the non-EU Schengen Member States) will discuss the Schengen related issues already debated by the EU Council. A Briefing by the Commission, Frontex and EASO on Migratory Pressures / Developments and Outlook is also planned

JUSTICE RELATED ISSUES

“General approaches” aiming a first reading agreement with the EP are foreseen for :
* Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing for the period 2014 to 2020 the Rights and Citizenship Programme
* Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing for the period 2014 to 2020 the Justice Programme

A “political agreement” (pending the European Parliament first position) is foreseen for the
* Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on mutual recognition of protection measures in civil matters

Orientation debates will take place on :
*Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General * Data Protection Regulation)
* Draft Directive on Protecting the Union’s financial interests by means of criminal law
* Draft Directive on Counterfeiting of the Euro (First reading) (still to be submitted by the Commission)

Meeting on 6-7 JUNE 2013

HOME SECURIRY RELATED ISSUES

An Orientation debate is already foreseen for the so called “Smart Borders Package” (which has not yet been submitted by the Commission)
• Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on an Entry/Exit System (EES)
• Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a Registered Travellers Program (RTP)
• Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation 562/2006 establishing a Community Code on the rules governing the movement of persons across borders (Schengen Borders Code)

Other debates will focus on
* Report of the EU-US JHA Ministerial Meeting
* Proposal for an amalgamation of Researchers and Students Directive (recast)
* Regulations of Europol, CEPOL and the European Training Scheme for Law Enforcement

The adoption has been planned for
* Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on a Union Civil protection Mechanism Interinstitutional file 2011/0461 (COD)
* Draft Council conclusions on European Information Exchange Model (EIXM)
* Draft Council conclusions on setting the EU’s priorities for the fight against organised crime between 2014 and 2017
* Draft Council conclusions on the provision of information on rights to victims of trafficking in human beings

JUSTICE RELATED ISSUES

On Data Protection a possible Partial General Approach is foreseen for the Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation)

Only an orientation debate is planned for the Proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, and the free movement of such data

Political agreements are already foreseen for :
* Draft Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the freezing and confiscation of proceeds of crime in the European Union
* Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and on the right to communicate upon arrest

On the protection of the EU financial interests an orientation debate will take place on the incoming Commission proposal of a Draft Regulation setting up a European Public Prosecutor’s Office
A “general approach” is foreseen for the Draft Directive on Protecting the Union’s financial interests by means of criminal law

A partial “general approach” is planned for the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council creating a European Account Preservation Order to facilitate cross border debt recovery in civil and commercial matters.

A progress report is foreseen for the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a Common European Sales Law.

Debates will also take place on
* Draft Directive on Counterfeiting of the Euro (First reading)
* Regulation and Directive of the Council on control of new psychoactive substances
* Proposal for a Directive of the EP and of the Council on the use of PNR data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime

The adoption of the EU Drugs Action Plan (2013-2017) is also foreseen (NDR even if is not clear how this decision could fit with the recent adoption of an European Drug Strategy for 2013-2020.

Other EAFSJ related proposals will be debated during the Irish Council Presidency

On February 28th by the Social Affairs Council will debate of the Proposal for a Council Directive on implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation NDR No decision is currently foreseen due to the opposition of some Member States (notably Germany which consider the proposal contrary to the subsidiarity criteria)

On February 19th by the COMPETITIVNESS Council is foreseen the Signature of the International Agreement on the establishment of the Unified Patent Court
The same Council will debate on May 29th the Modernisation of EU Copyright Law by debating the Commission Communication on “Content in the Digital Single Market” and the Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on collective management of copyright and related rights and multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online uses in the internal market
At the same meeting It will also adopt the Proposal for a recast of Regulation (EC) No 450/2008 (Union Customs Code) as well as the Proposal to amend Regulation No. 111/2005 laying down rules for the monitoring of trade between the Community and third countries in drug precursors Interinstitutional file 2012/057 (COD)

The TELECOMMUNICATION Council will debate on June 6th-7th the Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the accessibility of public sector bodies’ websites Interinstitutional file 2012/0340 (COD)
A specific debate will be devoted to
* Cyber Security:(a) Communication from the Commission on “Cyber Security” (b) Proposed Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on Network Security (yet to be submitted)
* “Cloud Computing” (Communication from the Commission)

The EDUCATION Council will on May 16th 17th possibly have a general approach on the Proposal for a Revision of Council Directive 93/7/EEC on the return of cultural objects unlawfully removed from the territory of a Member State.

The General Affairs Council will debate on April 23th the Proposal for a regulation of the European parliament and of the Council on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations as well as on the Proposal for an amendment to the Financial Regulation introducing a new title on the financing of European political parties. On June 25th the latter could be the object of a partial general approach.
The same AAGG Council will on May 21st adopt the Arrangements for Crisis Coordination at EU political level (revised “CCA”). On June 25th an interesting debate will possibly be held on a Joint Commission – High Representative proposal on the solidarity clause (Art. 222 TFEU)

The External Affairs Council will probably adopt on June 24th of the Proposal for a Council Directive on consular protection for citizens of the Union abroad . At the same meeting the Implementation of the Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights will be debated.

The ECOFIN Council will discuss on January 22nd An Action Plan to strengthen the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion presented by the Commission

The Council 6-months programme make clear that sectoral files under the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-20 on which negotiations are ongoing or may be launched with the European Parliament during the Irish Presidency and which, pending these negotiations and those on the MFF, will be included to the agenda of the relevant Council formation at a later stage such as :
* Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived
* Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing an Action Programme for Customs in the European Union for the period 2014-2020 (Customs 2020)
* Proposal for a Council Regulation establishing for the period 2014-2020 the programme “Europe for Citizens
* Regulation laying down general provisions on the Asylum and Migration Fund and the Internal Security Fund (part I)
* Regulation, establishing as part of the Internal Security Fund, support for external borders and visa
* Regulation establishing the Internal Security Fund: support for police cooperation, crime prevention and the fight against serious cross-border crime
* Regulation establishing, as part of the Internal Security Fund, support for crisis management and critical infrastructure protection
* Proposal for a draft Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the Asylum and Migration Fund for the period from 2014 to 2020
* Proposals to renew Civil Protection Legislation (Civil Protection “Mechanism” and “Financial Instrument”)
* Proposal on the establishment of the European Voluntary Corps
* Decision establishing “Justice” programme for the period 2014-2020
* Decision establishing “Rights and Citizenship” programme for the period 2014-2020
* Proposal for a European Parliament and Council Decision to promote activities in the field of the protection of the financial interests of the European Union (Hercule III)
* Proposal for a European Parliament and Council Decision on the PERICLES PROGRAMME – “ an exchange, assistance and training programme for the protection of the euro against counterfeiting”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s