EU: French government demands the Schengen police cooperation "timetable" is updated

Support our work: become a Friend of Statewatch from as little as £1/€1 per month.

The French government had called on the Schengen member states to disassociate
themselves from a draft "Schengen timetable" on cross-border police cooperation which has
been drawn up by DG H (Justice and Home Affairs) of the Council of the European Union's
General Secretariat - which it drew up "on its own initiative" and which cannot be a
substitute for the "Schengen timetable" because the document:

- does not have a legal basis;
- is outside of the framework for Schengen police cooperation;
- is not intended for the same audience and cannot be used by operational services;
- cannot be integrated into national instructions by member states;
- does not fulfill the format that is required by the Schengen acquis"

The French delegation say, in a Note to the Council's Police Cooperation Working Party,
that: "the format of the timetable cannot be modified other than through a decision by
member states", that is to say this power is not within the remit of DG H of the General

The "Schengen timetable" on police cooperation is based on two files:

"a general file that presented an overall view of the concerned measure; eventually
other forms would be annexed to it, such as the form to request judicial cooperation
from cross-border observation"

and national files interpreting the coordinates (relevant contact details) of the competent
authorities to be contacted.

Until the Schengen acquis was incorporated under the Amsterdam Treaty (which came into
effect in May 1999) the "Schengen timetable" was updated and member states consulted
with the results prepared and circulated by the Schengen General Secretariat. However,
"after the entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty, the updating of the Schengen
timetable in the way required by the Ministers never took place, in spite of reiterated
requests (for this to happen) by the Presidencies."

The French delegation is calling for the Schengen timetable be re-established (based on the
SCH/I (98) 90) and the national files be updated as soon as possible especially in the light
of enlargement.

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

"It would appear this is example of the General Secretariat of the Council trying to
take centralised control of a function which properly belongs to the member states. It
is also another instance of the deficit in accountability which followed the
incorporation of the Schengen acquis - there used to be a public annual report on
Schengen activities, since the Amsterdam Treaty came into force this has

Note from French delegation to the Police Cooperation Working Party, 28.5.03: 9861/03
(pdf in French)upda

Our work is only possible with your support.
Become a Friend of Statewatch from as little as £1/€1 per month.


Spotted an error? If you've spotted a problem with this page, just click once to let us know.

Report error