COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
Brussels, 10 July 2001 (12.07)
from : Presidency
to : Permanent Representatives Committee (Part 2)
Subject : Draft conclusions of the Council and of the representatives of the Governments of the Member States
1. As instructed by Coreper at its meeting on 5 July 2001, the JHA Counsellors met on Monday 9 July 2001 to examine the draft conclusions of the Council and of the representatives of the Governments of the Member States, amended in accordance with the comments forwarded to the Presidency.
The outcome of their proceedings is annexed.
2. The Presidency notes the reservations entered by several delegations as regards:
- point 2(d) relating to the exchange of data on troublemakers who have committed violent acts, either by means of access to existing national files or by setting up a European database (A/S/EL/FIN/DK/IRL/NL/F);
- point 3(b) relating to the freedom of movement of persons with a record of law and order offences (FIN/EL/F/A/S/IRL/DK and NL).
The Presidency considers that, in view of their political importance, these two proposals should be discussed in depth in the Council on 13 July 2001.
3. Two delegations entered scrutiny reservations concerning point 1(e) which provides for the Council to examine the possibility of increasing the powers of Europol in matters of public order (NL and A).
4. The Presidency calls on Coreper to record its agreement on the draft conclusions annexed hereto, except for the two points referred to in paragraph 2 above, and on the forwarding of the conclusions to the Council for approval.
Subject : Draft conclusions of the JHA Council and the representatives of the governments of the Member States - 13 July 2001
- I -
The Council and the representatives of the governments of the Member States recall the objective of the European Union to maintain and develop the Union as an area of freedom, security and justice. In such an area, citizens must enjoy the right:
(i) freely to express their opinions and to assemble in a peaceful manner, rights as reflected in the European Convention on Human Rights; and
(ii) to do so in conditions where there is not a threat to their own security nor to that of citizens or properties.
The Council and the representatives of the governments of the Member States deplore the actions of those who abuse these democratic rights by initiating, planning and carrying out acts of violence to coincide with public demonstrations.
Moreover, they are concerned about the threat to which police officers responsible for the maintenance of law and order have been exposed.
For the purpose of ensuring that these principles can also be achieved in the context of meetings of the European Council and other comparable events, the Council and the representatives of the governments of the Member States recall, in addition to the need for a dialogue with Non Governmental Organisations, social partners and civil society, in particular the importance of,
- on the one hand, a constructive dialogue between the organisers of public demonstrations and the authorities of the host country and
- on the other hand, close international contacts, particularly among the Member States' law enforcement authorities themselves, to ensure that such legitimate demonstrations are not exploited or abused by other elements for the sole purpose of committing acts of collective violence.
Building on the possibilities offered by existing legal instruments and bodies set up within the European Union, particularly the provisions of the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement (notably Article 46) and the Joint Action adopted by the Council on 26 May 1997 on the basis of Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union with regard to cooperation on law and order and security, the Council and the representatives of the governments of the Member States believe that there is a need to stress the importance of effective European cooperation on law and order.
They are of the view that the Task Force of Chiefs of Police should play a pivotal role in the practical implementation of cooperation between the law enforcement authorities of the Member States.
While recognising that the host country has the prime responsibility for maintaining public order and safety in the context of meetings of the European Council and other comparable events, the Council and the representatives of the governments of the Member States believe that the following operational measures may help to reduce the risk of serious disturbances of law and order.
- II -
1. International Police cooperation
(a) activation of a permanent national contact point in each Member State for the collection, analysis and exchange of relevant information;
(b) the setting up, at the request of the country in which the event takes place - before, during and after the event-setting up of a pool of liaison officers who could be delegated to the host country at its request before, during and after the event, by the Member States from which risk groups come;
(c) use the provision of police or intelligence officers able to identify persons or groups likely to pose a threat to public order and security, provided by the Member States from which such persons or groups cometroublemakers from their country of origin;
(d) the permanent monitoring of these operational procedures by the senior officials referred to in Article 3 of the abovementioned Joint Action.; This working party may meet at the request of the host Member State as a
(e) the examination by the Police Chiefs' Task Force in order, inter alia of the most appropriate measures to ensure effective police cooperation between the Member States;, to:
(f) the need for an analysis capacity at European level. In considering the amendment of the Europol Convention, the Council will examine the possibility of entrusting this task to Europol;
- advise on the most appropriate operational measures for ensuring the effective policing and security of European Councils and similar events;
- ensure effective EU police cooperation in support of the Member State hosting the event, and to
- monitor the effectiveness of these arrangements.
The Police Chiefs Task Force may call upon experts in the fields of public order to assist them in these tasks.
(e) the need to carry out a joint analysis of violent disturbances, offences and groups or bodies. In the context of discussions regarding amendment of the Europol Convention, the Council will examine the possibility of increasing the powers of Europol in this area.
(fg) the exchange of best practices, including the organisation of targeted training by the European Police College (EPC), including the exchange of best practices. To this end, Tthe Council welcomes the proposal by certain Member States to hold, under its auspices in France, a seminar invites the College to organise specific training from the beginning of 2002 on the maintenance of law and order and is pleased with the proposal submitted under the OISIN programme. It asks the Commission to consider the possibility of providing finance for this through the Community financingbudget.
2. Exchange of information, respecting the right to the protection of personal data
(a) the collection, analysis and exchange of the information described in Article 1 of the abovementioned Joint Action, including that from open sources in compliance with national law;
(b) before and during events take place, the exchange of information via the liaison officers mentioned in point 1 above;
(c) the drawing up by the Member State concerned, immediately after disturbances of law and order have occurred, of an incident report and subsequently of an evaluation report and their transmission to the central authorities referred to in Article 3 of the abovementioned Joint Action;.
(d) examination of the legal possibilities and of the need either to exchange data on the basis of existing national files or to set up a European database of troublemakers who have committed violent acts.
3. Measures relating to the crossing of borders
(a) arrangements with neighbouring countries to make possible joint or coordinated preventive patrols in border areas
(a) implementation of expulsion measures takenenforcement of orders to leave the territory issued in the context of the maintenance or restoration of law and order, and cooperation in the repatriation of demonstratorsnationals who have been expelled in accordance with national law;
(b) examination of the legal possibilities, in conformity with Community law, for preventing nationals who have a record of law and order offences, from leaving the Member State, travelling through another Member State or entering the country hosting the event if it is established that such persons are travelling with the intention of organising, provoking or participating in serious disturbances of public law and ordergoing abroad at the time of the events referred to in these conclusions;
(c) application, by the countries concerned, ofrecourse to the provisions of Article 2(2) of the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement, - in particular, if it proves essential, Article 2(2) thereof - or, if necessary, arrangements found with neighbouring countries to make possible joint or coordinated preventive patrols in border areas or to carry out joint checksunder the conditions stipulated therein.
4. International Judicial cooperation
(a) Facilitation of directcloser cooperation between the police and the judicial authorities or other competent authorities, in particular the execution of requests for mutual legal assistance through the drawing up ofvia the European Judicial Network and the Provisional Judicial Cooperation Unit (Pro-Eurojust);
(b) offering mutual judicial assistance in criminal proceedings, to the greatest possible extent, on the basis of specimen letters rogatory drawn up for this purpose;and
(c) use of judicial assistance contact points which can be contacted 24 hours a day, allowing for the necessary judicial assistance to be mobilised. Such direct contacts may be facilitated by the European Judicial Network.
(b) Implementation of adequate recording and research methods to enable violent troublemakers to be prosecuted and tried rapidly.
5. Organisational measures
(a) development of a common communications strategy, both for dealings with the various players concerned and for general communications;
(b) involvement of the organiser of an event in internal security measures;.
(c) exchanging, with a view to developing a common strategy, information on best practices for developing constructive dialogues with organisers of demonstrations to ensure that legitimate demonstrations are not exploited by groups with a violent agenda i.a. through the European Crime Prevention Network.
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