EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 19 November 2004

a. JHA Council press release (pdf)

b. Council agrees levels of security co-operation with third States and international organisations (14400/04)

c. Council agrees "Amended Council Directive on minimum standards on procedures in Member States for granting and withdrawing refugee status" (pdf)

d. But Council puts off trying to agree a list of "safe countries of origin" in Africa until next year when it will be pushed through by "qualified majority voting" (QMV). A number of member states and the European Commission lodged strong objections to human rights records and democratic standards and even the country reports of those governments declaring countries "safe" were critical. The list, once agreed under QMV, will be binding on all 25 member states. The Decision to put off the vote: 14383/04 (pdf) See Statewatch's in-depth analysis: EU divided over list of "safe countries of origin"

1. Press release (27 September 2004)
2. Statewatch Analysis: EU divided over list of "safe countries of origin" - the list should be scrapped (pdf)
3. Appendix to this report with full details of all the EU member state responses (pdf)
4. Sources/documents, including member state responses

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

"Our analysis showed how initial decisions were made, with too little time, too little information, and no public debate. To determine the fate of people fleeing from poverty and persecution on the basis of such a shallow process is an insult to any sense of humanity or moral responsibility, let alone legal obligations. To put off the decision so that a majority of governments can impose the list on all combines immoral decision-making with cynical political manoeuvring"

EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 19 November 2004, Brussels: Agendas & background documents


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