EU: Background reports on justice and home affairs issues

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In the run-up to the EU Summit (25 Prime Ministers) meeting in Brussels on 4-5 November a number of background reports on justice and home affairs issues are appearing (in addition to the two Conclusions being adopted by the General Affairs Council, see below). These are:

1. Issue of moving Title VI of the TEC (immigration and asylum) to co-decision

2. Council Recommendation on police cooperation across internal borders proposes the need for bilateral or regional agreements for cross-border cooperation. Earlier documents set out the problems for cross-border cooperation, 11048/04 and 8770/04 which include the fact that:

"open borders are having a growing impact on the maintenance of public order and safety. Examples are the problems arising from drug-related crime, international sporting contests, and ideologically motivated demonstrations at high-profile events."

3. Strengthening EU operational police cooperation, this deals mainly with the role of the Police Chiefs Task Force (PCTF). Although set up in 1999 the PCTF has never been given a legal status with the EU which is of concern because it is concerned with operational decisions. This document deals with the "positioning of the PCTF" including "providing input from the operational police point of view into the policy-making of the EU". It suggests that Europol should host meetings of the PCTF and that the Council's Police Cooperation Working Party should convene one or two meetings per Presidency with the "Chief of Police", another ad hoc grouping with no legal status. These arrangements, the document tries to suggest: "will ensure the accountability of the European operational cooperation".

The Summit will be adopting the "Hague Programme": Latest version of "The Hague programme" on justice and home affairs

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