JOINT ACTION with regard to cooperation on law and order and security

Introduction

The Joint Action of 26 May 1997 was adopted as an "A" Point (without debate) by the JHA Council. At a stroke it extended cross-border surveillance and intelligence-gathering from "football hooliganism" (adopted in March 1996 in the run-up to the European Championships in the UK) to cover "meetings attended by large numbers of people from more than one Member State". Police and internal security agencies are to "exchange information on groups of people that may pose a threat to law and order and security.." (see Statewatch, vol 7 no 3).

TEXT

Adopted on 26 May 1997

JOINT ACTION with regard to cooperation on law and order and security

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on European Union, and in particular Article K.3 (2) (b) thereof,

Having regard to the initiative from the Kingdom of the Netherlands,

Bearing in mind that, under Article K.1(9), police cooperation is regarded by Member States as a matter of common interest;

Whereas, further to previous initiatives, particularly as regards football hooliganism, efforts should be made to extend and strengthen cooperation on law and order and security;

Whereas more detailed arrangements need to be made for cooperation with regard to events taken in a broad sense, i.e. meetings attended by large numbers of people from more than one Member State, at which policing is primarily aimed at maintaining law and order and security and preventing criminal offences;

Whereas such meetings include sporting events, rock concerts, demonstrations and road-blocking protest campaigns, but related matters such as guarding and protecting people and property may also form part of the cooperation in question;

Whereas, in addition to neighbouring Member States, it is also possible for non-neighbouring Member States and Member States of transit to be involved in that cooperation;

Whereas exchange of information on groups of people that may pose a threat to law and order and security in various Member States as well as secondment of liaison officers and cooperation between central bodies have a part to play in such cooperation;

Whereas this joint action is intended to supplement existing bilateral and multilateral arrangements and is without prejudice to closer cooperation between Member States,

HAS ADOPTED THIS JOINT ACTION:

Article 1

1. Member States shall provide Member States concerned with information, upon request or unsolicited, via central bodies, if sizeable groups which may pose a threat to law and order and security are travelling to another Member State in order to participate in events. The information shall be supplied at as early a stage as possible to all Member States concerned, regardless of whether they are neighbours, including Member States of transit.

2. The information shall include the fullest possible details regarding:

(a) the group in question:
- overall composition,
- nature of the group (whether aggressive and whether any chance of disturbances);
(b) routes to be taken and stopping-off points;
(c) means of transport;
(d) any other relevant information;
(e) reliability of the information.

The information to be provided shall be supplied in compliance with national law.

Article 2

1. Member States may temporarily post liaison officers to other Member States which so request. Liaison officers shall play an advice and assistance role. They shall have no powers and be unarmed. They shall provide information and carry out their duties in accordance with instructions from their home Member State and guidelines from the Member State to which they are seconded. The host Member State shall ensure that liaison officers are protected.

2. The competent authorities of the host Member State shall determine the activities to be engaged in by liaison officers. Liaison officers shall he required to follow guidelines from the competent authorities.

Article 3

In order to promote cooperation between Member States by way of the competent central bodies, the following arrangements shall be made:

(a) each spring the Presidency shall organize a meeting of heads of central bodies for law and order and security to discuss matters of common interest;
(b) particulars concerning those central bodies shall be updated each spring via the Presidency (see Annex). Central bodies shall notify one another of any intervening changes;
(c) in the interests of better knowledge of one another's organisation, heads of central bodies shall encourage the holding of exercises and exchanges and training secondments for their staff.

Article 4

This joint action shall be published in the Official Journal.

It shall enter into force on the day following its publication.

ANNEX

Central bodies are to supply one another each year, or at more frequent intervals where changes occur, with the following particulars: Member State, Name of central body, Name of authority (eg: Ministry), Address, Phone number(s), Fax number(s), E-mail address, Liaison office, Names of contacts,
Languages spoken (in addition to national language(s)).