28 March 2012
This page will carry documents from the EU Summit in Greece as they become available:
No to "processing centres" but agreement on standardised biometric identification linked to EU databases
Note, 20.6.03: Reports says that the Summit did not back the UK government's proposals for "processing centres" for asylum-seekers in the EU and in the "regions of origin". The German and Swedish governments voiced opposition. However, the right-wing governments of Denmark, Netherlands and Austria support the UK and they may launch pilot projects outside the EU.
However, the EU Summit has backed the allocation 140 million euros to developing controls at borders and of databases. This includes the Visa Information System (VIS) and the next generation Schengen Information System (SIS II):
"a coherent approach is needed in the EU on biometric identifiers or biometric data, which could result in harmoised solutions for documents for third country nationals, EU citizens' passports and information systems (VIS and SIS II)"
EU Summit: Annotated agenda - this sets out not just the topics to be discussed but also the "state of play" based on internal discussions. This is replaced by the formal Conclusions announced at the end of the meeting: 10462/03 (pdf)
Letter of Invitation with broad agenda from Greek Prime Minister: Letter (link)
1. Council Conclusions on: 10621/03 (pdf): Note that passports for EU citizens are to include standardised biometric data as well.
2. Returns Action Programme: 13515/3/02 (pdf)
3. Integration policy for third country nationals: 10622/03
4. Proposed Council Directive on granting and withdrawing refugee status (released 19.6.03): 9947/03 (pdf)
5. Proposed Directive on transit "for the purposes of removal by air": 9752/03 (released 19.6.03): 9752/03 (pdf)
6. A report on EU-US relations gives the broad agenda for the EU-US Summit in Washington on 25 June. The subjects include: counter-terrorism, the EU's Galileo space project, and two unresolved issues: US access to PNR (Passenger Name Record, see: Report) and the Container Security Initiative (see: Report): 10623/02 (pdf)
Relevant documents from the European Commission
2. On the development of a common policy on illegal immigration, smuggling and trafficking of human beings, external borders and the return of illegal immigrants: COM (2003) 323 (pdf)
3. Commission on returns: European Commission publishes Communication on a "Community return policy on illegal residents, 14.10.2002,
COM(2002) 564 final: Full text (pdf) Statewatch analysis of Green Paper
Other relevant documents and analysis
1. EU buffer states and UNHCR “processing” centres and "safe havens": Report and documentation
2. The EU summit (European Council) in Seville in June 2002 agreed on far-reaching EU policies regarding illegal immigration, with potential huge impact on human rights, asylum-seekers and developing countries: Seville Conclusions on asylum & immigration
i) BBC on security preparations to protect Summit from protestors: BBC (link)
ii) Independent on issues that will not be discussed: Independent (link)
iii) Independent (20.6.03) "Blair loses fight for refugee "protection zones": Independent (link)
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