Transforming the European Union into an Area of Freedom, Security and Justice: Twenty years after Tampere and ten after Lisbon, the objective is still out of reach.
Rome, 28 January 2019, 9.30/12.30 – 14.00/17.30
Spazio Europa (managed by the European Parliament Office in Italy and the European Commission Representation in Italy) Via Quattro Novembre 149 (ground floor) – Roma
Twenty years ago, the Amsterdam Treaty entered into force and with it the objective of transforming and developing the European Union into an Area of Freedom, Security and Justice area (AFSJ). This objective confirmed ten years later by the Lisbon Treaty and by the Charter of Fundamental Rights, signaled the EU Member States determination of transforming the internal market into a new kind of supranational political space placing “..the individual at the heart of its activities, by establishing the citizenship of the Union and by creating an area of freedom, security and justice.”[i] However, since then, the experience has shown us that despite some important successes, that goal is still far from being realized.
Many factors of political, bureaucratic, institutional nature and, above all, the overlapping of several external and internal crises have put a strain on the Union and its Member States. Although it will not be possible to analyze them in detail in one day seminar of 28 January, we will try to understand what the nature of the major shortcomings and which political legal and institutional steps can be taken to overcome these difficulties during the next parliamentary term, without revising the current Treaties.
Our brain storming will be take place around four round tables open to people coming from European and national institutions or from the academia who have followed closely the evolution of the different policies that contribute directly or indirectly to the transformation of the Union. in Space for freedom, security and justice.
During the round tables the institutional dimension will be taken into consideration (not only at European but also national level), as well as the growing role of European Agencies and Authorities and the international dimension (United Nations, Council of Europe)
1st Round table: The values that the EU and the Member States must protect and promote
Sharing common values is the prerequisite of achieving together the objectives set by the Treaties and is the basis of mutual trust between Member States, notably when they implement the AFSJ related policies. When these values are risk or are violated, the Treaty provide the possibility to suspend even the voting rights of the Member State in question (Article 7 TEU). In the same perspective the Court of Justice has also recognized that also the mutual trust between the EU MS could be compromised and that this could hinder the mutual recognition mechanisms notably when respect for the rule of law is at stake. This round table will discuss on one side the common policies related to the AFSJ so that they respect the EU fundamental values and rights and on the other side the measures to be taken when one or more Member States jeopardize the values and the objectives of the EU. One can therefore ask whether, new mechanisms should be created to prevent these shortcomings at EU and National level.
Speakers: Enzo Cannizzaro, Valerio Onida, Oreste Pollicino
2nd Round Table: Freedom of movement, border control, asylum and migration
Freedom of movement within the EU and the abolition of internal border controls are the proof of the existence of a supranational human mobility area so that it is worrying that several EU Member States are trying to re-establish in a more or less permanent way these checks at the internal borders. In the last years, (starting in 2013 from the Schengen governance reform), the European Union has developed an impressive series of initiatives protecting the external borders and has launched an integrated border management which is deemed granting the highest level of security. Many scholars and representatives of institutions such as the European Data Protection Controller, have considered the requests for further internal and external border checks disproportionate face to the alleged threats.
The same security-focused strategy has also been at stake to limit the right to asylum and even to limit the EU management of migratory flows as well as the visa policy. Also limited have been the EU initiatives to promote the integration of migrants in national societies and labor markets or to facilitate access for regular migrants.
Speakers: Giuseppe Cataldi, Steve Peers, Mario Savino
3rd Round table: the internal (and external) security area
The EU has developed since 9/11 its Internal Security agenda and this process has even intensified during the last ten years with a particular focus on preventing terrorism. Unfortunately most of these EU measures have been adopted without a proper prior and post impact assessment so that it is very hard to judge their effectiveness or even revise their scope. The lack of information from the Member States hinders the democratic control, especially at the European level, as it has been proved by a recent EP resolution.
To counter this the EU is developing interoperability between European and national databases even if these databases were originally designed for other purposes (e.g. EURODAC, VIS). Last but not least using the external security legal framework (which is not binding and lacks parliamentary control) for internal security policies makes everything more complex and less transparent.
Speakers: Tony Bunyan, Luisa Marin, Marc Rotenberg
4th Round table: the European judicial area
The European judicial area has developed considerably in the civil field but has remained incomplete in the criminal field. The principle of mutual recognition of measures taken at national level has undergone several setbacks with the weakening of mutual trust between Member States and in the presence of highly differentiated national contexts in a supranational area where some Countries are particularly affected by organized crime and others which are practically immune). The “Lisbonisation” of EUROJUST and the creation of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office are good steps in the right direction but synergies between police and judicial cooperation at EU level are still incomplete and there is no currently an EU Strategy for strengthening the criminal justice area.
Speakers: Luca de Matteis, Lorenzo Salazar, Andrea Venegoni
Chair: Emilio De Capitani
Working language: Italian, English
[i] From the EU Charter of Fundamental rights preamble.
Organizational secretary: Fondazione Lelio e Lisli Basso. Via della Dogana Vecchia, 5 – Roma Tel. 06 6879953 – email@example.com