Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about ARGO


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.



ARGO is the new administrative cooperation action programme in the field of asylum, immigration and crossing of external frontiers. It replaces the Odysseus programme.

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision of 13 June 2002 adopting an action programme for administrative cooperation in the field of external borders, visas, asylum and immigration (ARGO) [See amending acts].


1. The Decision seeks to introduce a new programme for administrative cooperation in the fields of external borders, visas, asylum and immigration since the Odysseus programme has come to an end (given that its budget was exhausted in 2001). This programme (“ARGO”) covers the period from 1 January 2002 to 31 December 2006.

2. The programme’s objectives are:

  • to promote cooperation between national administrations responsible for implementing Community rules and to ensure that proper account is taken of the Community dimension in their actions;
  • to promote the uniform application of Community law;
  • to increase the transparency and overall effectiveness of the actions taken by the national authorities.

3. The action programme supports activities in the following areas:

  • crossing of external borders (effectiveness of controls);
  • visas (compliance with the principles of Community legislation on issuing visas, harmonisation of rules on the examination of visa applications, harmonisation of exceptions, etc.);
  • asylum (establishment of a Common European Asylum System, determination of the State responsible for examining an asylum application, approximation of rules on the recognition and content of refugee status, etc.);
  • immigration (effective, efficient and homogeneous application of rules on illegal immigration, the return of illegal residents, transit, etc.).

4. In the above areas, the action programme may support the following types of actions:

  • training actions;
  • staff exchange;
  • actions promoting the computerised handling of files and electronic data exchange;
  • setting-up of common operative centres and of teams composed of staff drawn from two or more Member States;
  • studies, research, conferences and seminars;
  • Member States’ activities in third countries.

5. The ARGO programme can also finance national projects in the area of external borders aimed at remedying certain structural shortcomings observed at strategic border crossing points on the basis of objective criteria.

6. The ARGO action programme may finance up to 60% of the cost of the action (or up to 80% in exceptional circumstances). The co-financing of an action by the ARGO action programme is exclusive of any other financing by another programme financed by the budget of the European Communities. The amount earmarked for implementing the programme is EUR 25 million. In addition, the budgetary authority has substantially stepped up the funds allocated to the ARGO programme for 2004, in order to improve management of the external borders.

7. The Commission is responsible for the management and implementation of the ARGO action programme, in partnership with the Member States. It must also prepare an Annual Work Programme and evaluate and select the actions proposed. The actions are evaluated on the basis of specific criteria such as conformity with the Annual Work Programme, the European dimension of the action, the inherent quality of the action, the amount of the support requested, etc.

8. The Commission is assisted by the ARGO Committee. Each year the Commission submits a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of the ARGO action programme. The Commission must submit the first report in 2003 and the final report by 31 December 2007.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2002/463/EC 19.06.2002 OJ L 161 of 19.06.2002
Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2004/867/EC 18.12.2004 OJ L 371/48 of 18.12.2004

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