Monday 6 October 2008, by European Commission
Jacques Barrot, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for freedom, security and justice, has decided to launch a wide-ranging public consultation as part of the discussions that will result in the definition of priorities for the period beginning in 2010.
«The creation of an area of freedom, security and justice is still under way, and it is crucial that citizens be consulted to help define what that area should look like» explained Vice-President Barrot.»Today the free movement of citizens is a fact, with 8 million of them working and residing in a Member State other than their own. Obstacles do remain, however, to the recognition of such citizens’ rights and to cooperation among authorities.
One of the European Union’s core objectives is to provide its citizens with an area of freedom, security and justice without internal borders. An area in which citizens enjoy protection as individuals, the respect of their fundamental rights and freedom of movement. An area in which citizens’ security and their collective protection are guaranteed by appropriate measures. An area in which a judicial decision from one Member State can be applied in another and in which citizens have easier access to justice. And, lastly, an area that requires concerted management of immigration and asylum.
Many elements come into play in this important effort: the respect of fundamental rights, citizenship including, for example, participation in local and European elections, the free movement of persons, data protection, judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters, the fight against drugs, police cooperation, the fight against terrorism and organised crime, legal and illegal immigration, integration, asylum and visa policies, and questions related to the EU’s external borders.
The European Union has made significant progress towards creating this area of freedom, security and justice. According to a recent Eurobarometer published in July 2008, a majority of European citizens attach a great deal of importance to the EU’s actions in this field.
The impetus has been provided by two successive multiannual programmes that set out detailed priorities and initiatives to be taken in the various sectors. The second programme – «The Hague Programme» – will be more or less completed in 2009.
Now we must look ahead and define the European Union’s future priorities in this field, addressing major challenges such as taking greater account of citizens’ interests, an increasingly globalised world requiring closer cooperation with non-EU countries and the constant progress of technology.
The Commission has decided to launch this wide-ranging public consultation as part of the discussions that will result in the definition of priorities for the period 2010-2014.
Contributions must be submitted by 20 November 2008.
Brussels, 25 September 2008
Source : Europa