EU: Informal Justice and Home Affairs Council, Tampere, Finland, 20-22 September 2006 (Updated 19 September)

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Agenda and Background documents:

1) Fight against terrorism: The EU response to the terror plot disrupted in the UK Includes "tracking of the movements of "jihadists" and other persons involved in radicalisation and recruitment" and storing data from "the video surveillance of major traffic junctions"

2) Next steps in the development of the common European asylum system Includes a proposal that Eurodac - databases of the finger-prints of asylum applicants - should be applied in full and also cover all foreign nationals apprehended as "illegally crossing the border of a member states and are not turned back". This is a reference to the large discrepancy between national statistics and the number of peoples' fingerprints held on Eurodac

3) Migration management: Extended European Solidarity in immigration, border control and asylum policies

4) Development of the EU's integrated management system for external borders: Border management See also: A "Non-Paper" from the Finnish Council Presidency circulated in July as a: "Room document: SCIFA 12/06" (pdf)

The latter is more explicit and states that: "First and foremost border management is an area of policing" which reflected in the proposed "Definition of Integrated Border Management" which says: Integrated Border Management shall cover all relevant threats met at the border". Thus it includes not just "checks and surveillance" but also "the investigation of cross border crime" and a "four-tier access control model" - third countries, neighbouring countries, border control and "control measures within the area of free movement". The Presidency note does contain a new proposal for: the establishment of a common entry-exit register of third country nationals"

5) Improvement of decision-making in justice and home affairs Confronts the issue of whether police and judicial cooperation should be moved from Title VI of the TEU (with unanimity needed and the European Parliament only "consulted") to Title IV of the TEC (with qualified majority voting by the governments and co-decision with the European Parliament). The Note raises the issue that some "particularly sensitive" issues might not be transferred. The Finnish Presidency notes that this transfer requires unanimity among the member state but "does not require ratification at the national level"

6) Combating terrorism and organised crime - Enhancing operational activities and multidisciplinary law enforcement cooperation Refers to the discussion on the "internal security architecture". It also calls for "central forms" of tackling organised crime and terrorism "such as common monitoring and surveillance operations, intelligence-led policing, operations directed at commonly defined targets"

7) Difficulties in negotiating legislative instruments on the mutual recognition of judicial decisions in criminal matters, and possible solutions Refers to the problems of member states agreeing on proposals currently under discussion in the Council on: the transfer of sentenced people, exchange of information on criminal records and taking account of convictions in the course of new criminal proceeding

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