Monday 7 February 2005, by European Council
THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 62(2)(a) and Article 63(3)(b) thereof,
Having regard to the initiative of the Kingdom of Spain , Whereas:
(1) In order to combat illegal immigration effectively and to improve border control, it is essential that all Member States introduce provisions laying down obligations on air carriers transporting passengers into the territory of the Member States. In addition, in order to ensure the greater effectiveness of this objective, the financial penalties currently provided for by the Member States for cases where carriers fail to meet their obligations should be harmonised to the extent possible, taking into account the differences in legal systems and practices between the Member States.
(2) The European Council of 25 and 26 March 2004 adopted a Declaration on combating terrorism stressing the need to expedite examination of measures in this area and take work forward on the proposed Council Directive on the obligation of carriers to communicate passenger data with a view to an early conclusion on this measure.
(3) It is important to avoid a vacuum in the Community’s action in combating illegal immigration.
(4) As from 1 May 2004 the Council can no longer act on an initiative of a Member State.
(5) The Council has exhausted all possibilities to obtain in time the opinion of the European Parliament.
(6) Under these exceptional circumstances the Directive should be adopted without the opinion of the European Parliament.
(7) The obligations to be imposed on carriers by virtue of this Directive are complementary to those established pursuant to the provisions of Article 26 of the 1990 Schengen Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement of 14 June 1985, as supplemented by Council Directive 2001/51/EC , the two types of obligation serving the same objective of curbing migratory flows and combating illegal immigration.
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