Tuesday 20 January 2009, by European Commission
The European Commission publishes results of an open public consultation on the future priorities in the area of freedom, security and justice for the years 2010-2014 and a Eurobarometer on awareness of key-policies in the same area.
Vice President Jacques Barrot, Commissioner in charge of the Justice, Freedom and Security portfolio, stated: «Politics in the area of Freedom, Security and Justice are at the heart of the people’s interest. Therefore the European Commission attaches great importance to people’s opinions on these matters. Discussions and reflections on the future of European Justice and Home Affairs will continue and benefit from the valuable contribution of Member States, stakeholders and citizens .»
The Commission received 770 answers from citizens on an online-questionnaire and 47 stakeholder opinions. All of these contributions together with the reports of the two Future Groups on Justice and Home Affairs (undertaken by certain Member States) and various statements of Member States will be carefully considered.
The results of the Eurobarometer survey, based on the contributions from 27,000 citizens, show that a majority of respondents feels concerned about all major policy areas in the field of Justice and Home Affairs, in particular the fights against organised crime and terrorism and drugs abuse (both 80%). The promotion and protection of fundamental rights, including children’s rights is a matter of concern for approximately three-quarters of EU citizens (78%).
For each of the policy areas under review, the majority of citizens felt that EU-level actions would have an added value compared to those taken solely at a national level.
EU citizens felt that EU-level actions would have the most added value in the fight against organised crime and terrorism (72%); just 18% considered that EU-level actions would have had no extra benefit. The next highest level of support for EU-level actions was seen in the fight against drugs abuse and the promotion and protection of fundamental rights, including children’s rights (both 65%).
Looking at citizens who were both concerned about the key policies and saw a role for the EU-level actions, the same two policies garnered the most support from concerned citizens: a) organised crime and terrorism and b) drugs abuse (77% and 73% respectively). However, the latter was joined by the promotion and protection of fundamental rights, including children’s rights – also with 73% of citizens being concerned and supportive of EU action.
There were two areas where EU citizens did not show a particularly high level of concern but were nevertheless supportive of EU-level actions – the exchange of judicial and police information between Member States and the control of the EU’s borders. In these two policy area, one in five citizens took this position. This could be interpreted as citizens giving the green light for continued action in these areas.
The Commission is currently working on a proposal for the next multi-annual programme in the area of Freedom, Security and Justice to follow the Hague Programme in 2010. In this context the Commission carried out an open public consultation on the future priorities of JLS-politics that ran from 25th September to 4th December 2008.
Freedom, Security and Justice: What will be the future?» Consultation on priorities for the next five years (2010-2014):
Flash Eurobarometer survey Awareness of key-policies in the area of Freedom, Security and Justice:
Brussels, 19 January 2009
Source : Europa