Category Archives: Free Movement of Persons, Asylum and Immigration

The free movement of persons is a fundamental right guaranteed to European Union (EU) citizens by the Treaties. It is realised through the area of freedom, security and justice without internal borders. Lifting internal borders requires strengthened management of the Union’s external borders as well as regulated entry and residence of non-EU nationals, including through a common asylum and immigration policy.
The concept of free movement of persons came about with the signing of the Schengen Agreement in 1985 and the subsequent Schengen Convention in 1990, which initiated the abolition of border controls between participating countries. Being part of the EU legal and institutional framework, Schengen cooperation has gradually been extended to include most EU Member States as well as some non-EU countries.

Reinforcing the management of the EU's southern maritime borders

Reinforcing the management of the EU’s southern maritime borders

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Reinforcing the management of the EU’s southern maritime borders

Topics

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

Justice freedom and security > Free movement of persons asylum and immigration

Reinforcing the management of the EU’s southern maritime borders

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission: Reinforcing the management of the European Union’s maritime borders [COM(2006) 733 final – Not published in the Official Journal]

Summary

This Communication sets out the Commission’s main recommendations to improve the management of the southern maritime external borders.

Maximising the capacity of FRONTEX

The Commission recommends that:

  • Regulation (EC) No 377/2004 on the creation of the Immigration Liaison Officers’ Network be amended to give FRONTEX access to the information gathered by liaison officers on a systematic basis and to allow for the participation of FRONTEX in their meetings;
  • the Member States be encouraged to pool technical equipment; FRONTEX should report on a regular basis to the Council and the Commission on achievements in this area.

It also proposes that FRONTEX:

  • examine the possibility of continuous joint control and surveillance operations at the external southern maritime borders, in particular during the period from spring till late autumn 2007, taking into account the risks linked to the re-routing of flows;
  • establish at its headquarters the facilities necessary for real-time coordination between Member States;
  • draw up a working arrangement with relevant international organisations, such as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

A Coastal Patrol Network

The Commission recommends that:

  • a permanent coastal patrol network be set up at the external southern maritime frontiers, as suggested by the “MEDSEA” feasibility study presented by FRONTEX on 14 July 2006;
  • the management network be entrusted to FRONTEX and it be asked to consider the possibility of setting up several regional command centres at the southern maritime external borders; the main role of these centres (each one covering a specific area: the Canary Islands, the western, central and eastern Mediterranean Sea) would be to carry out daily patrols, but they might also be required to take part in join maritime operations;
  • FRONTEX consider setting up a specialised branch for maritime borders in the region responsible for managing the regional command centres.

A European surveillance system

The Commission suggests that a European Surveillance System for Borders (EUROSUR) be created. EUROSUR could, as a first step, link up the existing national surveillance systems currently in use at the southern maritime external borders. It would then gradually replace the national surveillance systems at land and maritime borders.

Improving the capacity to deal with mixed flows

The Commission proposes that a pool of experts from Member States’ administrations be made available for deployment at short notice to carry out an initial assessment of individual cases at points of arrival, in particular regarding the state of health of immigrants and the identification of persons who may need international protection or who may be returned to their countries of origin or transit. The asylum expert teams that would be established from this pool would assist the requesting Member State on a temporary basis in performing this initial profiling through the provision, in particular, of interpretation services and advice on case handling. They might, if necessary, include officials of relevant international organisations such as the UNHCR.

In the short term, the Commission encourages Member States as well as international organisations to make use of relevant Community funding instruments to launch these teams on a project basis. It proposes that continued thought be given to the role which a possible European support office for all forms of cooperation between Member States relating to the Common European Asylum System might play in the setting up of such teams.

The operational implementation of the international law of the sea

The Commission will publish a study on the international law of the sea analysing the gaps in the international legal framework and identifying the issues that could be further explored. It proposes that:

  • the correct modus operandi for intercepting vessels carrying, or suspected of carrying, illegal immigrants bound for the European Union be more accurately determined; regional agreements could define the right of surveillance and interception of vessels in the territorial waters of relevant countries of origin and transit, smoothing the way for the implementation of joint operations by FRONTEX;
  • the extent of the Member States’ protection obligations flowing from the respect of the principle of non-refoulement in the many different situations where their vessels implement interception or search and rescue measures be examined. It proposes that practical instructions be drawn up to determine the circumstances under which a Member State may be obliged to assume responsibility for the examination of an asylum claim when engaged in joint operations or in operations taking place within the territorial waters of another Member State or on the high seas.

It also stresses the importance of the ratification by the Member States and the African states of the Palermo Protocol against the smuggling of migrants by land, sea and air.

Maximising the use of European Community financial means

The budget of the FRONTEX Agency (EUR 33.98 million earmarked for 2007) will be used to finance joint operations and pilot projects with Member States at the external frontiers, including the establishment of a Coastal Patrol Network, regional command centres and a specialised branch for maritime borders in the region.

The Commission takes the view that an efficient and rapid use of the resources to be provided by the new External Borders Fund (1.82 billion for the period 2007-2013, of which 170 million will be available in 2007) will be essential for the implementation of the measures envisaged. Moreover, a yearly reserve of 10 million will be set aside to allow for the financing of actions by the individual Member States to address weaknesses at strategic border points, as identified by the FRONTEX by means of risk analysis.

With a view to the longer term, in its 7th Framework Programme for research and technological development, the Commission foresees research for improved capabilities in the implementation of an integrated border management system.

Against the background of the preliminary draft budget for 2007, the European Parliament approved a preparatory action in 2007 (15 million, to be confirmed) for “Migration management/solidarity in action” to assist Member States in coping with the influx of illegal immigrants arriving by sea.

Community activities financed by the European Refugee Fund (ERF) may cover the cost of projects relating to the setting-up teams of asylum experts. In addition, ERF III will provide a mechanism allowing Member States facing particular pressure situations to have rapid and easy access to emergency financial assistance from the Fund.

Background

In the last two years, the pressure of illegal immigration faced by Member States has grown. The Communication was drawn up in response to the Council’s request of 5 October 2006 and is geared towards the first part of a two-pronged approach. Initially, operational measures are set out which are designed to combat illegal immigration, protect refugees and set up controls at, and surveillance of, the EU’s external maritime borders. The second part continues and strengthens the dialogue and cooperation with third countries on these operational measures in the context of the Association Agreements, the ENP Action Plans and the Cotonou Agreement.

 

Towards a comprehensive European migration policy

Towards a comprehensive European migration policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Towards a comprehensive European migration policy

Topics

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

Justice freedom and security > Free movement of persons asylum and immigration

Towards a comprehensive European migration policy

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament – The global approach to migration one year on: towards a comprehensive European migration policy [COM(2006) 735 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

2006 was a year of agenda-setting with Africa. A ministerial conference on migration and development was held in Rabat last July, bringing together some 60 countries along West and Central African migration routes. A conference was also held in Libya in November to formulate for the first time a joint approach to migration between the EU and the whole of Africa.

In addition to these conferences, the issue of migration is also being addressed as part of:

  • European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP)
  • the Euromed Forum;
  • the high-level meetings with the African Union and the regional organisations.

At the end of 2006, FRONTEX launched and coordinated several joint maritime operations in the Atlantic and Mediterranean regions, completed risk analyses on Africa and presented feasibility studies on establishing a Mediterranean coastal patrols network and a surveillance system covering the whole southern maritime border of the EU and the Mediterranean Sea. Regional networks of immigration liaison officers (ILOs) are being set up along key migration routes through Africa. The Commission has issued a proposal for the establishment of rapid border intervention teams and has carried out an analysis of international maritime law.

Reinforcing coherence: a comprehensive European migration policy

With regard to intensifying dialogue and cooperation with the African countries of origin and transit, the Commission states that on the basis of the work carried out on migratory routes, the EU will foster more specific cooperation with various regions in Africa. Cooperation platforms will bring together African countries, EU Member States and international organisations in an effort to manage migration more effectively in the interests of all. This common framework could then lead to the formulation of regional agreements with interested African countries.

In addition, in the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and EUROMED, a ministerial conference on migration will be convened in the second half of 2007.

The Commission states that “Article 13 missions”, in which key African countries such as Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana and Nigeria will take part, will be set up in 2007. These missions, three of which took place in 2006, are undertaken by the Commission on the basis of Article 13 of the Cotonou Agreement with the participation of the Presidency embassies in the countries concerned and interested Member States. A joint EU-ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) working group on migration is also to meet for the first time in 2007.

With regard to the migration and development agenda, the Commission will reserve an amount of 40 million for the first phase of this initiative (9th EDF resources), to be complemented by Member States’ contributions. The geographical scope of the initiative, aimed at seriously addressing the lack of decent jobs in Africa, will be sub-Saharan Africa, but actions may focus on specific countries or regions and – in its first phase – notably on West Africa. Member States will be invited to join the Commission in the programming of these actions.

The EU must continue to help the African states to reinforce their capacity to manage migration and asylum. Important initiatives are being taken in ENP countries, in particular with regard to border management and institutional support in order to improve the reception of migrants as well as the protection of their rights. Furthermore, the Commission has proposed creating migration profiles for each interested country. These profiles should be established for all relevant partner countries in the medium term. The Commission has also suggested establishing migration support teams (MISTs) composed of experts from EU Member States which could provide the necessary assistance to African states who so request.

The Commission intends to:

  • support initiatives stimulating the establishment of a pan-African network of migration ‘observatories’ and/or migration research institutes;
  • propose the implementation of twinning measures using EC funding to assist African countries in developing their migration and asylum policies;
  • suggest designating a contact person for migration issues in each of its delegations (and in Member State missions) in African countries.

As regards legal immigration, the Commission suggests:

  • setting up specific migration centres in partner countries, supported by EC funding, in order to facilitate management of seasonal workers, exchanges of students and researchers and other forms of legal movement of people;
  • supporting activities such as reinforcing the third-country administrative services responsible for managing labour migration, reinforcing the capacity of the national employment services in third countries and developing intermediation establishments as well as the implementation of pre-immigration plans in countries of origin;
  • once certain conditions have been met, such as cooperation on illegal migration and the establishment of agreements for readmission, setting up mobility packages which would enable their citizens to have better access to the EU.

The Commission also suggests similar initiatives to address potential skills shortages and brain drain in certain sectors, as well as measures to prevent the adverse effects on the countries of origin of excessive emigration of skilled workers.

With regard to integration and intercultural dialogue, the Commission will establish instruments enabling more involvement by the interested parties, including the migrants themselves, thereby encouraging an effective integration strategy. This will require in particular:

  • establishing an integration platform where relevant partners can exchange views on a regular basis;
  • consolidating the role played by local authorities building on the success of the Rotterdam conference of 9-10 October;
  • creating an integration website and new editions of the integration handbook and the annual report on migration and integration.

In 2007 the high-level advisory group on the social integration of ethnic minorities is to present practical recommendations for further developing the existing polices. The Commission also recommends adopting other measures to ensure that migrants receive civic education based on fundamental European values and learn the language of their host country. In addition, the EU must continue to support projects in the field of intercultural education, education of immigrants and inclusion of disadvantaged youth via relevant programmes.

With regard to the fight against illegal migration and trafficking in human beings:

  • new legislation on penalties against employers of undeclared labour will be proposed in spring 2007;
  • EUROPOL will help to fight illegal immigration and people trafficking;
  • FRONTEX, within the framework of European external relations policy, should establish technical working arrangements for joint operations with relevant third countries;
  • ILO networks will be reinforced, with the aim of having at least one liaison officer in each key African country of origin and transit;

Member States must be supported in designing and implementing voluntary return programmes and enforced return plans, including joint flights for removal; in this context, the Commission considers that it is equally important that the proposed Directive establishing common standards for Member States’ return procedures is adopted as soon as possible;

Negotiations on a re-admission agreement between the European Community and third countries should continue.

With regard to asylum and the protection of refugees, the Commission suggests implementing regional protection programmes, as well as activities in other areas giving support to asylum-seekers and persons in need of international protection, such as Mauritania and southern Africa. Funds will also be made available to finance a UNHCR-run project for protection activities in all the southern and eastern Mediterranean countries – Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

Financial support for the comprehensive European migration policy

The Commission confirms its intention of intensifying its financial assistance in areas concerning or related to migration in respect of its relations with third countries, including by an allocation of up to 3% of the European Neighbourhood Policy Instrument (ENPI).

Access to these 10th EDF incentive resources will depend on the outcome of a dialogue between the Commission and the partner country on the past performance and future commitments in the area of governance, including on migration.

The new thematic programme on migration and asylum has been elaborated on the basis of experience gained with the Aeneas programme and builds on lessons learned.

With regard to solidarity between Member States, the bulk of the 4.02 billion package allocated by the budgetary authority for the period 2007-2013 to the framework programme “Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows” will go directly to the Member States under shared management arrangements.

The Commission recommends that Member States take a committed strategic long-term approach to the use of these resources. While the main purpose of the framework programme is to reinforce the implementation of the internal dimension of the Community policies, many of the actions are likely to favour the achievement of the objectives set out in this Communication.

The Commission is also committed to exploring all possibilities of creating a leverage effect through these Funds by making financial agreements with other stakeholders, such as the European Investment Bank.

Background

In December 2005, the European Council adopted a global approach to migration. This global approach, which focuses on action priorities in Africa and the Mediterranean, formulates coherent migration policies and action, addressing a wide range of migration issues and bringing together the various relevant policy areas: external relations, development, employment, and justice, freedom and security.

This Communication has two aims: firstly, it responds to the European Council’s invitation to the Commission to report back on progress made in implementing the first phase of the global approach and the priority actions focusing on Africa and the Mediterranean by the end of 2006. Secondly, it proposes ways to make the European Union’s approach truly comprehensive.

While this Communication focuses on Africa and the Mediterranean region, the Commission believes that consideration should be given to applying the approach to other regions, in particular those on the eastern and south-eastern external borders of the EU.

 

Second generation Schengen Information System – former 1st pillar regulation

Second generation Schengen Information System – former 1st pillar regulation

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Second generation Schengen Information System – former 1st pillar regulation

Topics

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

Justice freedom and security > Free movement of persons asylum and immigration

Second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) – former 1st pillar regulation

The SIS II Regulation lays down the technical aspects and the operation of SIS II, the conditions for issuing alerts on refusal of entry or stay for non-EU nationals, the processing of data relating to alerts, and conditions of data access and protection. It constitutes the legislative basis for governing SIS II with respect to matters falling under Title IV of the Treaty establishing the European Community (former first pillar).

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 1987/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on the establishment, operation and use of the second-generation Schengen Information System (SIS II).

Summary

The second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) will be a large-scale information system containing alerts * on persons and objects. It will be used by border guards, customs officers, visa- and law-enforcement authorities throughout the Schengen area, with a view to ensuring a high level of security. This new system is currently undergoing extensive testing in close cooperation with European Union (EU) countries and associated countries participating in the Schengen area (referred to below as the Member States *) and will replace the current system, providing enhanced functionalities.

The SIS II Regulation constitutes the necessary legislative basis for governing SIS II with respect to alert procedures falling under Title IV of the Treaty establishing the European Community (former first pillar). It is supplemented by a decision relating to procedures falling under Title VI of the Treaty on European Union (former third pillar).

Technical architecture and ways of operating SIS II

SIS II will be composed of:

  • a central system (“Central SIS II”);
  • a national system (the “N.SIS II”) in each Member State (the national data systems that will communicate with the Central SIS II);
  • a communication infrastructure between the central system and the national systems providing an encrypted virtual network dedicated to SIS II data and the exchange of data between the authorities responsible for the exchange of all supplementary information * (SIRENE Bureaux).

SIS II data will be entered, updated, deleted and searched via the various national systems. The central system, which will perform technical supervision and administration functions, is located in Strasbourg (France). It will provide the necessary services for the entry and processing of SIS II data. A backup central system, capable of ensuring all functionalities of the principal central system in the event of failure of this system, is located near Salzburg (Austria). Each Member State will be responsible for setting up, operating and maintaining its own national system and for connecting it to the central system. It designates an authority, the national SIS II office (N.SIS II office), which has central responsibility for its national SIS II project. This authority will be responsible for the smooth operation and security of its national system.

Each Member State designates its SIRENE Bureau. Supplementary information relating to SIS II alerts will be exchanged in accordance with the provisions of the “SIRENE Manual” and by using the communication infrastructure. Member States will keep a reference to the decisions giving rise to an alert at the SIRENE Bureau.

Member States will be liable for any damage caused to a person through the use of the national SIS II systems. They will also ensure that any potential misuse of data entered in SIS II or any exchange of supplementary information contrary to this regulation will be subject to effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties.

Operational management of the Central SIS II will consist of all the necessary tasks for keeping it running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in accordance with this regulation.

After a transitional period, a management authority, funded from the general budget of the EU, shall be responsible for the operational management of the Central SIS II and for a number of tasks relating to the communication infrastructure (supervision, security and coordination of relations between Member States and the provider). The Commission will be responsible for all other tasks relating to the communication infrastructure.

During a transitional period before the management authority takes up its responsibilities, the Commission shall be responsible for the operational management of Central SIS II. In accordance with the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities, the Commission may delegate the operational management and tasks relating to implementation of the budget to national public-sector bodies in two different countries that meet the specific criteria outlined in Article 15, paragraph 4 of the SIS II Regulation.

The regulation contains provisions to ensure adequate protection of personal data. In cooperation with the national supervisory authorities and the European Data Protection Supervisor, the Commission will accompany the start of the operation of SIS II with an information campaign informing the public about the objectives, the data stored, the authorities having access and the rights of individuals.

Alerts issued in respect of non-EU nationals for the purpose of refusing entry and stay

SIS II will only contain those categories of data supplied by each of the Member States, which are necessary for alerts for refusing entry or stay. Once the system is operational and alerts are included in it, the SIS II will only be possible to store the following information on persons for whom an alert has been issued: surname(s) and forename(s), name(s) at birth, aliases, specific physical characteristics, place and date of birth, sex, photographs, fingerprints, nationality(ies), whether the person concerned is armed, violent or has escaped, reason for the alert, authority issuing the alert, a reference to the decision giving rise to the alert and link(s) to other alerts issued in SIS II. It will also include the action to be taken in the event that there is a “hit” (i.e. if a competent national authority finds an alert in SIS II concerning a non-EU national on whom they have carried out a check). Should a Member State be unable to perform the requested action after obtaining a hit in SIS II, it will immediately inform the Member State that issued the alert.

Photographs and fingerprints will be used to confirm the identity of a non-EU national who has been located as a result of an alphanumeric search made in SIS II. As soon as this becomes technically possible, fingerprints may also be used to allow identification of a non-EU national on the basis of his/her biometric identifier. Before this functionality is implemented in SIS II, the Commission will present a report on the availability and readiness of the required technology.

Data on non-EU nationals, for whom an alert has been issued for refusing entry or stay, will be entered on the basis of a national alert based on a decision by the competent courts and administrative authorities taken on the basis of an individual assessment. An alert will be entered where the decision is based on a threat to public policy, to public security or to national security, which the presence of the non-EU national in question in the territory of a Member State may pose. It will also be possible to enter an alert when the decision is based on the fact that the non-EU national has been subject to a measure involving expulsion.

Access to and processing of data in SIS II

Authorities responsible for border control and other police and customs checks within the Member State concerned will have a right to access alerts. By extension, it will also be possible for national judicial authorities to access the system for the performance of their tasks. In any case, users will only be able to access data that is required for the performance of their tasks.

Before issuing an alert, Member States will determine whether the case is relevant enough to warrant the entry of the alert in SIS II. These alerts will only be kept for the time required to achieve the purposes for which they were entered. A Member State issuing an alert shall review the need to keep it within three years of its entry in SIS II.

It will only be possible to copy data for technical purposes. Such copies, which lead to off-line databases, may be retained for no more than 48 hours. It will not be possible to use data for administrative purposes.

A Member State issuing an alert will be responsible for ensuring that the data are accurate, up-to-date and lawfully entered in SIS II. Only the Member State issuing an alert will be authorised to modify, add to, correct, update or delete data that it has entered. If a Member State other than that issuing an alert obtains evidence suggesting that an item of data is incorrect, it will inform the Member State that issued the alert as soon as possible. The Member State that issued the alert will check the communication and, if necessary, correct or delete the item in question without delay. If the Member States are unable to reach an agreement within two months, the Member State that did not issue the alert will submit the matter to the European Data Protection Supervisor who will act as a mediator, jointly with the national supervisory authorities concerned.

It will be possible for a Member State to create a link between alerts it enters in SIS II, but this should only be done when there is a clear operational need.

Data processed in SIS II will not be transferred or made available to non-EU countries or to international organisations.

Data protection

Processing of sensitive categories of data (personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs or trade-union membership and data concerning health or sex life) will be prohibited.

Any person will have the right to request access to data relating to him/her (personal data *) that has been entered in SIS II, and to have factually inaccurate personal data corrected or unlawfully stored personal data deleted.

Information may not be communicated to the data subject if this is indispensable for the performance of a task in connection with an alert or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of third parties. Regarding the exercise of their rights of correction and deletion, individuals will be informed about the follow-up as soon as possible, and in any event no later than three months from the date of their application for correction or deletion.

It will be possible for any person to bring an action before the competent courts or authorities to access, correct, delete, or obtain information or compensation in connection with an alert relating to him/her.

The authority or authorities designated in each Member State, endowed with the powers referred to in Directive 95/46/EC on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, will independently monitor the lawfulness of the processing of SIS II personal data on their territory and the transmission of this data from their territory. They will ensure that an audit of the data-processing operations in the N.SIS II is carried out at least every four years.

The European Data Protection Supervisor will check that the personal data-processing activities of the management authority are carried out in accordance with this regulation. S/he will also ensure that an audit of the personal data-processing activities is carried out at least every four years. A report of this audit will be sent to the European Parliament, the Council, the management authority, the Commission and the national supervisory authorities.

The national supervisory authorities and the European Data Protection Supervisor cooperate actively. They exchange relevant information, assist one another and meet at least twice a year.

Final provisions

The regulation will apply to the Member States participating in the current Schengen Information System (SIS 1+) from the date to be set by the Council (acting by unanimity of its members representing the governments of the Member States participating in SIS 1+) once all necessary technical preparations for SIS II have been completed at central and Member State level and once all implementing measures have been adopted. Precise information on this matter is given in Article 55 of the regulation and in the legal instruments governing migration from SIS 1+ to SIS II.

Three years after the SIS II is brought into operation, and then every four years, the Commission will produce an overall evaluation of the Central SIS II and the bilateral and multilateral exchanges of supplementary information between Member States. It will transmit the evaluation to the European Parliament and the Council.

Key terms used in the act
  • Alert: a set of data entered in SIS II allowing the competent authorities to identify a person with a view to taking specific action.
  • Member States: EU countries and associated countries participating in the Schengen area. The United Kingdom and Ireland are not participating in aspects of SIS II falling under this regulation.
  • Supplementary information: information not stored in SIS II, but connected to SIS II alerts, which is to be exchanged, in order to allow Member States to consult or inform each other in the following cases: when entering an alert, following a hit in order to allow the appropriate action to be taken, when the required action cannot be taken, when dealing with the quality of SIS II data, when dealing with the compatibility and priority of alerts, when dealing with the right of access.
  • Additional data: data stored in SIS II and connected with SIS II alerts, which are to be made immediately available to the competent authorities of a Member State where a person in relation to whom data has been entered in SIS II is located as a result of searches made there.
  • Personal data: any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person.
  • Processing of personal data: any operation or set of operations, which is performed upon personal data, whether or not by automatic means, such as: collection, recording, organisation, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, blocking, erasure or destruction.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation No 1987/2006/EC

17.1.2007

OJ L 381 of 28.12.2006

Related Acts

Commission Decision 2010/261/EU of 4 May 2010 on the Security Plan for Central SIS II and the Communication Infrastructure [Official Journal L 112 of 5.5.2010].
This decision provides for the organisation of the security of the Central SIS II and its communication infrastructure, and establishes a security plan for both. The purpose is to ensure protection against any threats to their availability, integrity and confidentiality. The Commission is responsible for implementing and monitoring the security measures for the communication infrastructure and, during the transitional period, for the Central SIS II. Once the management authority becomes operational, it must adopt its own security plan for the Central SIS II.
For monitoring the implementation of the security measures, the Commission designates a System Security Officer. A Local Security Officer is designated for the Central SIS II and for the communication infrastructure. They are responsible for implementing and monitoring the security measures and procedures in the principal CS-SIS, including the backup CS-SIS, and in the communication infrastructure respectively.
The System Security Officer, in cooperation with the Local Security Officers, prepares a security policy that provides detailed measures and procedures for protecting the Central SIS II and the communication infrastructure. Among others, the policy provides measures for controlling:

  • access to data processing facilities;
  • removable media containing data and any other important assets;
  • storage of data;
  • passwords;
  • access to SIS II hardware and software;
  • communications through the communication infrastructure.

It also lays down security measures in relation to human resources, defining for example the functions and responsibilities of staff that have access to the Central SIS II.

Commission Decision 2008/333/EC of 4 March 2008 adopting the SIRENE Manual and other implementing measures for the second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) [Official Journal L 123 of 08.05.2008].
The alerts in SIS II will contain a set of data that is absolutely necessary for identification of a person or object sought. In cases where the future end-users (officers from the competent national authorities) need to take action after obtaining a matching alert, they will require supplementary information on this alert (information that will not be contained in SIS II, but that will be connected to SIS II alerts).
National offices known as SIRENE Bureaux (Supplementary Information Request at the National Entries) have been set up in all Schengen countries to assist with obtaining supplementary information for SIS by acting as the contact points between a Member State creating an alert and one achieving the match. The same offices will be used for SIS II.
The SIRENE Manual is a set of instructions indicating both the general and specific procedures that competent authorities will have to follow for exchanging supplementary information on the following categories of alerts:

  • alerts for refusal of entry or stay (first pillar);
  • alerts for arrest for surrender or extradition purposes (this and the following categories fall under the third pillar);
  • alerts on missing persons;
  • alerts sought for a judicial procedure;
  • alerts for discreet and specific checks;
  • alerts on objects for seizure or use as evidence.

The purpose will be to assure communication among Member States, in particular when entering an alert, acting on an alert, handling multiple alerts, and dealing with the quality of SIS II data or with rights of access.
The implementing measures cover SIS II aspects that, due to their technical nature, level of detail and need for regular updating, are not covered exhaustively by the SIS II legal instruments.
As is the case for other instruments related to SIS II, there are two legal instruments (Commission decisions) for the SIRENE Manual and implementing measures: one for the first pillar (Annex of Decision 2008/333/JHA) and one for the third pillar (Annex of Decision 2008/334/JHA). The Annexes to both decisions are identical.

Access of vehicle registration services to SIS II

Access of vehicle registration services to SIS II

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Access of vehicle registration services to SIS II

Topics

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

Justice freedom and security > Free movement of persons asylum and immigration

Access of vehicle registration services to SIS II

As the regulation and decision concerning the establishment, operation and use of SIS II do not provide Member State vehicle registration services access to this system, an additional regulation has been adopted to this end.

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 1986/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 regarding access to the Second Generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) by the services in the Member States responsible for issuing vehicle registration certificates.

Summary

Member States’ public services responsible for issuing registration certificates for vehicles referred to in Directive 1999/37/EC will have access to the following data in SIS II:

  • data concerning motor vehicles with a cylinder capacity exceeding 50 cc;
  • data concerning trailers with an unladen weight exceeding 750 kg and caravans;
  • data concerning vehicle registration certificates and vehicle number plates that have been stolen, misappropriated, lost or invalidated.

They will have access to this data solely for the purpose of checking that the vehicles presented to them for registration have not been stolen, misappropriated or lost and are not being sought as evidence in criminal proceedings.

Registration services that are not public services will only have access to the data in SIS II through one of the authorities referred to in Article 40 of the SIS II Decision. These authorities alone will have the right to access the data directly and transmit it to the service concerned.

The communication to the police or judicial authorities of any information contained in SIS II that raises suspicion of a criminal offence will be governed by national law.

Background

By virtue of Council Directive 1999/37/EC of 29 April 1999 on the registration documents for vehicles, Member States are to assist one another and exchange information. In particular, before registering a vehicle, they should check the legal status of that vehicle in the Member State in which it was previously registered.

Regulation (EC) No 1987/2006 and Decision 2007/533/JHA concerning the establishment, operation and use of SIS II (SIS II Regulation and Decision) replaced all but one article of the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement of 14 June 1985. That article concerns access to the Schengen Information System by the authorities and services in the Member States responsible for issuing registration certificates for vehicles. This third act completes the SIS II legal framework, ensuring that Member States’ vehicle registration services will have access to SIS II once it is operational.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1986/2006

17.1.2006

OJ L 381 of 28.12.2006

Common framework for the integration of non-EU nationals

Common framework for the integration of non-EU nationals

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Common framework for the integration of non-EU nationals

Topics

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

Justice freedom and security > Free movement of persons asylum and immigration

Common framework for the integration of non-EU nationals

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 1 September 2005 – A Common Agenda for Integration – Framework for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals in the European Union [COM(2005) 389 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The communication draws from European Union (EU) level developments in legal migration and the integration of non-EU nationals. It is a first step in the establishment of a coherent framework for integration, proposing concrete measures at EU and national level for putting the Common Basic Principles (CBPs) into practice.

Common Basic Principles (CBPs)

The concrete measures proposed in the communication aim to provide guidance for national and EU integration policies. Any of the actions EU countries choose to carry out must include a gender perspective and take account of the particular situation of young people.

“Integration is a dynamic, two-way process of mutual accommodation by all immigrants and residents of EU countries.” The Commission proposes that at national level:

  • the ability of the host society to adjust to diversity is strengthened;
  • the role of private bodies in managing diversity is enhanced;
  • trust and good relations within neighbourhoods are promoted;
  • cooperation with the media is encouraged.

At the same time, transnational actions and projects to explore new forms of European cooperation should be supported at EU level.

“Integration implies respect for the basic values of the EU.” The Commission proposes emphasising civic orientation in introduction programmes at national level. At European level, the integration of non-EU nationals should be included in future programmes of the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), while effective ways to raise public awareness about the basic values of the EU are explored.

“Employment is a key part of the integration process.” The Commission proposes that at national level:

  • labour-market discrimination is prevented;
  • social partners are involved in the elaboration and implementation of integration measures;
  • the recruitment of migrants is encouraged and migrant entrepreneurship is supported.

At European level, the Commission proposes:

  • monitoring the impact of national reform programmes on labour-market integration of immigrants;
  • encouraging EU countries to develop labour-market integration policies;
  • monitoring the application of the directives on discrimination in employment and on non-EU nationals who are long-term residents.

“Basic knowledge of the host society’s language, history and institutions is indispensable to integration.” At national level, the Commission proposes strengthening the integration component through pre-departure measures and organising introduction programmes that offer courses at several levels. At European level, transnational actions and innovative integration models should be supported.

“Efforts in education are critical to integration.” The Commission proposes that diversity be reflected in the school curriculum and that the specific problems of young immigrants, such as participation in higher education, be taken into account at national level. Actions at EU level should include the incorporation of integration objectives into educational programmes (Education and Training 2010) and the facilitation of transparent recognition of qualifications (European Qualifications Framework).

“Access for immigrants to institutions as well as to public and private goods and services in a non-discriminatory way is a critical foundation for better integration.” The Commission proposes the following national level actions:

  • strengthening the capacity of public and private service providers to interact with non-EU nationals;
  • introducing sustainable organisational structures for integration and schemes to gather and analyse information;
  • engaging companies in debates on integration;
  • integrating intercultural competence into recruitment and training policies.

At European level, the application of the directives on non-EU nationals who are long-term residents and on equal treatment should be monitored and studies and exchanges of best practices should be supported.

“Frequent interaction between immigrants and EU citizens is a fundamental mechanism for integration.” At national level, the Commission proposes that activities in which immigrants interact with the host society are promoted and that their living environment is improved. Simultaneously, at European level:

  • the integration dimension in social inclusion and social protection policies should be strengthened;
  • the exchange of information and good practice should be encouraged;
  • transnational cooperation at regional, local and municipal level between public authorities, private enterprises and civil society, including migrants’ associations, should be supported.

“The practice of diverse cultures and religions must be safeguarded.” The Commission proposes developing constructive intercultural dialogue and public discourse and promoting inter- and intra-faith dialogue platforms at national level. At European level, it proposes facilitating intercultural and inter-religious dialogue and further developing dialogue with religious and humanist organisations.

“The participation of immigrants in the democratic process and in the formulation of integration policies supports their integration.” At national level, the Commission proposes that:

  • civic, cultural and political participation of non-EU nationals in the host society is increased;
  • dialogue and consultation with non-EU nationals is encouraged;
  • active citizenship is promoted;
  • national preparatory citizenship and naturalisation programmes are drawn up.

At EU level, it proposes that a study/mapping exercise of the rights and obligations of non-EU nationals in EU countries is initiated, the creation of a platform of migrants’ organisations is fostered and the value of developing a concept of civic citizenship is explored.

A coherent EU level approach

The Commission also proposes measures to encourage a more coherent European approach towards integration. At national level, this involves mainstreaming integration in all relevant policies and reinforcing the capacity to coordinate national integration strategies across different levels of government. At EU level, it entails the strengthening of the network of National Contact Points (NCPs) and the developing of cooperation among responsible institutions and services. It is also necessary to carry out national evaluations and to enhance the capacity to collect, analyse and disseminate national statistics related to integration. In addition, statistical tools and common indicators should be developed at European level. The European Migration Network should also be further developed.

The NCPs will continue to be central in monitoring the development of integration strategies across different policy fields as well as in ensuring that national and EU level activities are mutually reinforcing. They will also continue work on the Handbook on Integration (second edition planned for 2006), which will focus on housing and urban issues, access to health and social services, integration in the labour market and integration infrastructure, firmly incorporating the CBPs into the analysis. The Commission is planning to launch a tender for a web portal for European experiences on immigrant integration and will set up a European Integration Forum to promote the effective participation of stakeholders at EU level. The forum’s main functions will be consultation, exchange of expertise and drawing up recommendations to be published on the integration website. The Commission will continue to draw up an annual report on migration and integration as a means of monitoring the further development of integration policies in the EU.

Background

In 2002, the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council requested the establishment of NCPs on integration. In June 2003, the European Council confirmed that mandate and invited the Commission to present annual reports on migration and integration.

In its 2003 communication on immigration, integration and employment, the Commission set out a holistic approach to integration. In November 2004, the first edition of the Handbook on Integration for Policy Makers and Practitioners was published.

The Hague Programme, adopted by the European Council on 4 and 5 November 2004, underlined the need for greater coordination of national integration policies and EU initiatives in this field. On 19 November 2004, the JHA Council adopted CBPs to underpin a coherent European framework on integration of non-EU nationals.

Related Acts

European Parliament resolution of 2 April 2009 on problems and prospects concerning European Citizenship [Official Journal C 137E of 27.5.2010].

European Parliament resolution of 26 September 2007 on the policy plan on legal immigration [Official Journal C 219E of 28.8.2008].

European Parliament resolution of 24 October 2006 on women’s immigration: the role and place of immigrant women in the European Union [Official Journal C 313E of 20.12.2006].

European Parliament resolution of 6 July 2006 on strategies and means for the integration of immigrants in the European Union [Official Journal C 303E of 13.12.2006].

Reports

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 11 September 2007 – Third Annual Report on Migration and Integration [COM(2007) 512 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

This third annual report on migration and integration continues the monitoring process for the policies on admission and integration of non-EU nationals in the EU. It provides information on the establishment of the EU integration framework until June 2007. Mainstreaming integration becomes an integral part of policy making and implementation across a wide range of EU policies, and the communication announces the Commission’s commitment to present new initiatives aimed at further developing the EU framework. The report also provides specific information on the various dimensions of the integration process in EU countries for 2005 and the first half of 2006.

Commission Staff Working Document of 30 June 2006 – Second Annual Report on Migration and Integration [SEC(2006) 892– Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 16 July 2004 – First Annual Report on Migration and Integration [COM(2004) 508 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Facilitated Transit Document

Facilitated Transit Document

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Facilitated Transit Document

Topics

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

Justice freedom and security > Free movement of persons asylum and immigration

Facilitated Transit Document (FTD) and Facilitated Rail Transit Document (FRTD)

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 693/2003 of 14 April 2003 establishing a specific Facilitated Transit Document (FTD), a Facilitated Rail Transit Document (FRTD) and amending the Common Consular Instructions and the Common Manual.

Summary

This Regulation establishes a Facilitated Transit Document (FTD) * and a Facilitated Rail Transit Document (FRTD) * for the specific and direct transit by land of third country nationals who must necessarily cross the territory of one or more Member States of the European Union (EU) in order to travel between two parts of their own country which are not geographically contiguous.

Scope and validity

The FTD and the FRTD have the same value as transit visas and are territorially valid for the issuing Member State. The FTD is valid for a maximum period of up to three years and transit based on the FTD will not exceed 24 hours. The FRTD is valid for a maximum period of up to three months and transit based on the FRTD will not exceed six hours.

No FTD/FRTD can be affixed in a travel document that has expired or with a period of validity shorter than that of the FTD/FRTD.

Conditions and issuing procedure

In order to obtain an FTD/FRTD, the applicants must meet the following conditions:

  • possess a valid document, authorising them to cross external borders;
  • not be persons for whom an alert has been issued for the purposes of refusing entry;
  • not be considered to be a threat to public policy or the international relations of any of the Member States;
  • for the FTD, have valid reasons for frequent travelling between the two parts of the territory of their country.

The application for an FTD/FRTD is presented to the consular authorities of a Member State. This procedure provides for the submission of documentation demonstrating the need for frequent travel, such as documents concerning family links or social, economic or other motives.

The fee corresponding to the administrative costs of processing the application for an FTD is EUR 5. The FRTD is issued free of charge.

Issuing and refusal of the document

The FTD/FRTD are issued by the consular offices of the Member States and may not be issued at the border.

The procedures, and appeal in cases where the consular post of a Member State refuses to examine an application or issue an FTD/FRTD, are governed by national law of the respective Member State. If an FTD/FRTD is refused, the reason will be communicated to the applicant, where required by national law.

Penalties are imposed on the holder of the FTD/FRTD in case of misuse. Such penalties will be effective, proportionate and dissuasive, and include the possibility of cancelling or revoking the FTD/FRTD.

Final provisions

Member States deciding to issue the FTD and the FRTD will communicate this decision to the Council and the Commission and the latter will publish it in the Official Journal. If Member States decide to stop issuing the FTD and the FRTD they will communicate that decision to the Council and the Commission and the latter will publish it in the Official Journal.

The Commission will report to the European Parliament and the Council on the functioning of the FTD/FRTD scheme at the latest three years after the entry into force of the first decision taken by a Member State to issue FTD/FRTD.

Key terms used in the act
  • Facilitated Transit Document (FTD): a specific authorisation allowing for a facilitated transit, which may be issued by Member States for multiple entries by whatever means of land transport. The FTD will be issued in the form of uniform formats in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 694/2003.
  • Facilitated Rail Transit Document (FRTD): a specific authorisation allowing for facilitated transit, which may be issued by Member States for a single entry and return by rail. The FRTD will be issued in the form of uniform formats in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 694/2003.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 693/2003

18.04.2003

L 99 of 17.4.2003

Related Acts

Council Regulation (EC) No 694/2003 of 14 April 2003 on uniform formats for Facilitated Transit Documents (FTD) and Facilitated Rail Transit Documents (FRTD) provided for in Regulation (EC) No 693/2003 [Official Journal L 99, 17.04.2003].
FTD/FRTD are produced in the form of a uniform format (sticker) and have the same value as transit visas. They conform to the specifications set out in Annexes I and II to the Regulation. Further technical specifications for FTD and FRTD are established relating to additional security requirements (including anti-forgery) and technical processes and rules for the filling in of the uniform FTD/FRTD. These specifications are not published.

Mutual information mechanism for national asylum and immigration measures

Mutual information mechanism for national asylum and immigration measures

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Mutual information mechanism for national asylum and immigration measures

Topics

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

Justice freedom and security > Free movement of persons asylum and immigration

Mutual information mechanism for national asylum and immigration measures

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2006/688/EC of 5 October 2006 on the establishment of a mutual information mechanism concerning Member States’ measures in the areas of asylum and immigration.

Summary

The mutual information mechanism (MIM) provides for exchanges of information between the Commission and European Union (EU) countries concerning national laws on asylum and immigration.

EU countries are required to transmit through a web-based network, and using the report form annexed to the decision, the measures they intend to take or have recently taken. Such information should be transmitted as soon as possible and at the latest when it becomes publicly available.

EU countries are required to communicate to the Commission and the other EU countries only measures that are likely to have a significant impact:

  • in other EU countries;
  • at the level of the EU as a whole.

The Commission is responsible for the development and management of the network. In setting up the network, it will make use of the existing technical platform of the trans-European telematic network for the exchange of information between EU country authorities (CIRCA). The network has a specific functionality that allows the Commission and EU countries to request from one or more countries additional information on measures communicated.

Any specific national measure notified in this way may give rise to an exchange of views between EU country experts and the Commission. In addition to these technical discussions, the Commission will prepare each year a report summarising the most relevant information transmitted by EU countries. The report will be submitted to the European Parliament and the Council for use as the basis of ministerial discussions on national asylum and immigration policies.

The Commission will evaluate the functioning of the mechanism two years after the entry into force of the decision and regularly thereafter.

Background

National measures in the areas of immigration and asylum are likely to have an impact on other EU countries. This is due to the absence of border checks in the Schengen area, the close economic and social relations between EU countries and the development of common visa, immigration and asylum policies.

The EU has been striving to draw up a common asylum and immigration policy since the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1999. Although a large number of common measures have already been taken in these areas at the EU level, the national authorities continue to play an important role, notably in the areas not yet covered by EU rules. They are constantly adopting new measures (e.g. important changes to asylum and immigration policies, setting quotas, large-scale regularisation measures or concluding readmission agreements) that may have implications for other EU countries or for the EU as a whole.

Therefore, this decision proposes the establishment of a formal information procedure between EU countries and the Commission, with the aim of improving the coordination of immigration and asylum policies between EU countries.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2006/688/EC

3.11.2006

OJ L 283 of 14.10.2006

Related Acts

Report from the Commission of 17 December 2009 pursuant to Article 4 and 5 of the Council Decision of 5 October 2006 on the establishment of a mutual information mechanism concerning Member States’ measures in the areas of asylum and immigration [COM(2009) 687 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
This report contains a summary of the most relevant information transmitted by EU countries and an evaluation on the functioning of the MIM during its first operational period.
From the beginning of the MIM becoming operational in April 2007 until 30 September 2009, only 16 EU countries had transmitted information via the MIM on only 45 measures:

  • 21 on adopted legislation;
  • 4 on draft legislation;
  • 9 on policy intentions and long-term programming;
  • 7 on administrative decisions affecting a large group of non-EU country nationals or having a general nature;
  • 4 on other measures.

No communications were made on final decisions of the highest courts or tribunals.
The format in which the communications were made was rarely homogenous. The reporting form annexed to the decision was not always used, which resulted in the ineffective reception of information in that the essence of the measures or their impact remained unidentifiable. In addition to this, at times only the English title and the text in the original language were provided, resulting in problems of comprehension. There were also differences in the contents of the reporting forms submitted: some were fairly comprehensive, while others only provided a cursory description without indication of the nature of the measure.
The MIM cannot be deemed as fulfilling its objectives since the quantity of information submitted was nominal. The rate of information exchanges varied somewhat, reaching an all-time low in 2009 with only 4 communications.
Yet, there is no evidence that the unsatisfactory application of the decision is caused by its provisions. In addition, since the MIM has only been operational for a short period, the Commission does not yet consider it relevant to propose amendments to the decision.

Facilitating procedures for issuing visas for those taking part in sporting events

Facilitating procedures for issuing visas for those taking part in sporting events

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Facilitating procedures for issuing visas for those taking part in sporting events

Topics

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

Justice freedom and security > Free movement of persons asylum and immigration

Facilitating procedures for issuing visas for those taking part in sporting events

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 1295/2003 of 15 July 2003 relating to measures envisaged to facilitate the procedures for applying for and issuing visas for members of the Olympic family taking part in the 2004 Olympic or Paralympic Games in Athens.

Summary

The Regulation was not designed to abolish the visa requirement for members of the Olympic family who are subject to it by virtue of their nationality but to lay down measures for adoption by Greece to facilitate their entry into the Schengen area in order to take part in the 2004 Games in Athens.

The special procedure for applying for visas is incorporated into accreditation request procedure that members of the Olympic family have to comply with. This means that they do not have to present themselves in person at the consular services either to make the application or to receive the visa, which is formalised instead by the marking of a specific number in the Olympic Games accreditation card.

Organisations applying for the Olympic accreditation card * for the persons selected to take part in the Games may, at the same time submit a collective group application for visas as well.

The Organising Committee * sends the applications to the consular services as quickly as possible. The services then check that the persons in question:

  • have been accredited by the Organising Committee;
  • hold a passport;
  • have not been identified for non-admission in the Schengen Information System;
  • are not deemed liable to undermine public order.

Once compliance with these conditions has been checked, the services issue a uniform short-stay, multiple-entry visa authorising a stay of up to 90 days for the duration of the Games.

If the conditions are not met, the consular services may issue a visa with limited territorial validity.

The visa takes the form of two numbers entered on the Olympic accreditation card (visa number and passport number).

The visas are issued free of charge.

When members of the Olympic family cross the external borders of the Member States:

  • entry checks are limited to verifying compliance with the four conditions set out above;
  • the passports of all members (whether or not they are subject to a visa requirement) are stamped on entry and exit.

The Regulation also provides for the Commission to report to the European Parliament and the Council on the functioning of the derogation on the basis of a report transmitted by Greece after the Games with a view to the organisation of the Winter Olympics in Turin.

Background

To enable the Games to be organised, the Community must establish legislation facilitating the issue of visas to members of the Olympic family. The Regulation meets this requirement.

Greece is the first Member State to apply the Schengen acquis in its entirety for the organisation of the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004.


Key terms used in the act
  • Olympic accreditation cards: documents issued to members of the Olympic family authorising access to the facilities at which competitions are held for the duration of the Games; these cards are highly secure in order to avoid the occurrence of terrorist attacks;
  • Organising Committee: Committee responsible for organising the 2004 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Athens.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation 1295/2003/EC 04.08.2003 03.01.2004 OJ. L 183 of 22.07.2003

Related Acts

Regulation (EC) No 2046/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 December 2005 relating to measures envisaged to facilitate the procedures for applying for and issuing visas for members of the Olympic family taking part in the 2006 Olympic and/or Paralympic Winter Games in Turin [Official Journal L 334 of 22 December 2005].
This Regulation provides the Community with the necessary legislation to facilitate the issuing of visas in time for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. It takes over most of the arrangements and procedures that were applied for the 2004 Games in Athens.

 

Local border traffic at external land borders

Local border traffic at external land borders

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Local border traffic at external land borders

Topics

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

Justice freedom and security > Free movement of persons asylum and immigration

Local border traffic at external land borders

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 1931/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 laying down rules on local border traffic at the external land borders of the Member States and amending the provisions of the Schengen Convention.

Summary

Conditions of entry and stay

Local border traffic refers to the regular and frequent crossing for legitimate reasons of the European Union’s (EU) external border by nationals of neighbouring third countries resident in the border areas with the Union.

These border residents may cross the external land border * of a Member State provided that they are in possession of a permit delivered to facilitate such a crossing (and of a passport, if the Member State in question so requires), they are not persons in respect of whom the Schengen Information System (SIS) has been alerted and they are not deemed to be a threat to public order.

These persons are authorised to stay in the border area * for a maximum duration stipulated in the bilateral agreement between a Member State and the neighbouring third country. The stay must not exceed three months.

Permits

Border residents are given a permit limited to the border area which is valid for between one and five years.

The fees will be equivalent to those payable for a short-term multiple-entry visa. However, Member States may decide to reduce or even waive the fees.

Agreements on the implementation of the local border traffic regime

Member States may conclude agreements on local border traffic with neighbouring third countries. They may also maintain existing agreements provided they comply with this regulation. Furthermore, Member States must ensure that third countries apply the principle of reciprocity and grant comparable treatment to citizens of the EU wishing to travel to their border area.

These agreements can allow border residents to use:

  • border crossing points open only to border residents;
  • special lanes at ordinary border crossing points;
  • exceptional authorisations for border residents to cross the border outside authorised border crossing points and hours.

Member States must enforce effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties in the event of misuse of the local border traffic regime. These may include cancelling or revoking the permit.

Context

This Regulation was drawn up in response to the plan for the management of external borders of the Member States of the European Union endorsed by the Seville European Council of 21 and 22 June 2002, which highlighted the need to adopt measures to regulate local border traffic.

Key terms used in the act
  • External land border: a common border between a Member State and a neighbouring third country.
  • Border area: an area that does not extend more than 30 kilometres from the border; the area may extend to 50 kilometres in exceptional circumstances.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1931/2006

19.1.2007

OJ L 405, 31.12.2006

Related Acts

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1931/2006 as regards the inclusion of the Kaliningrad area and certain Polish administrative districts in the eligible border area [COM (2011) 461 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
Codecision procedure (2011/0199/COD)

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 9 February 2011 Second report on the implementation and functioning of the local border traffic regime set up by Regulation No 1931/2006 [COM(2011) 47 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Four years after the creation of the local border traffic regime, four bilateral agreements have entered into force (Hungary/Ukraine, Slovakia/Ukraine, Poland/Ukraine and Romania/Moldova). Only the latter agreement is entirely compliant with Regulation No 1931/2006. Three other agreements shall enter into force in 2011 (Poland/Belarus, Lithuania/Belarus and Norway/Russia) and several draft agreements have been the subject of consultations with the Commission. The Commission considers that the regime is functioning efficiently, but requests that the agreements which do not comply with the Regulation are amended. The Commission confirms the conclusions of its first report which noted stricter conditions in the agreements than those provided for by the Regulation. Information provided by the Member States concerned shows that border traffic permit holders use the permits very frequently, for stays ranging from a few hours to two days. The main difficulties highlighted concern the definition of the border area, the requirement for travel medical insurance (not provided for by the Regulation), and the Kaliningrad region (a Russian enclave within the EU).

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 24 July 2009 on the implementation and functioning of the local border traffic regime introduced by Regulation (EC) No 1931/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down rules on local border traffic at the external land borders of the Member States [COM(2009) 383 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Since the adoption of the above Regulation, only the following bilateral local border traffic agreements have entered into force: Hungary/Ukraine, Slovakia/Ukraine and Poland/Ukraine. A few other Member States have consulted the Commission on the following agreements: Lithuania/Belarus, Lithuania/Russian Federation, Latvia/Russian Federation, Poland/Belarus, Bulgaria/Serbia, Bulgaria/Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Romania/Ukraine. Only one bilateral agreement existed before the adoption of the Regulation: Slovenia/Croatia. Consequently, it is still too early to evaluate the implementation and functioning of the local border traffic regime.
The Member States that have consulted the Commission have applied the facilitation measures provided by the Regulation to a varying extent, yet never in full and mostly with additional restrictions.

Community statistics on asylum and migration

Community statistics on asylum and migration

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Community statistics on asylum and migration

Topics

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

Justice freedom and security > Free movement of persons asylum and immigration

Community statistics on asylum and migration

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 862/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 July 2007 on Community statistics on migration and international protection and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 311/76 on the compilation of statistics on foreign workers.

Summary

This regulation establishes common rules for the collection of Community statistics on migration by European Union (EU) countries. It concerns statistics relating to immigration * to and emigration * from an EU country, citizenship and country of birth of persons resident in the territories of EU countries, and administrative and judicial procedures relating to migration.

Statistics on migration, international protection, illegal immigration and returns

EU countries are required to provide Eurostat with statistics on the numbers of:

  • immigrants moving to their territories;
  • emigrants moving from their territories;
  • persons usually resident in their territories;
  • residence permits issued, including long-term residence permits;
  • natural persons having acquired national citizenship.

EU countries are also required to give the numbers of:

  • persons applying for international protection;
  • persons covered by applications under consideration by the national authorities;
  • applications rejected;
  • applications granting refugee, subsidiary protection and temporary protection statuses;
  • unaccompanied minors;
  • applications and transfers covered by the Dublin II Regulation;
  • persons selected for resettlement *.

In addition, EU countries must provide Eurostat with statistics on the numbers of non-EU country nationals who have been refused entry at their external borders and who have been found illegally present in their territories.

Furthermore, EU countries must provide statistics on the number of administrative or judicial decisions imposing an obligation to leave their territories, as well as on the number of non-EU country nationals who are returned to their countries of origin, countries of transit or other non-EU countries.

Provisions common to the different categories

The statistics are based on:

  • records of administrative and judicial actions;
  • registers relating to administrative actions and population registers;
  • censuses;
  • sample surveys.

As a rule, the statistics are disaggregated by age, sex and nationality. The Commission may adopt other disaggregations, such as the year in which the residence permit was granted for the first time (statistics on residence permits) or reason for refusal or arrest (statistics on illegal entry and immigration).

The Commission is assisted by the Statistical Programming Committee. It will submit a report to the European Parliament and to the Council on the implementation of the regulation by 20 August 2012 at the latest (and then every three years).

Background

This regulation is in response to the conclusions of the Thessaloniki European Council of June 2003, which asked for more effective mechanisms for collecting and analysing information on migration and asylum in the EU. The Commission had previously published an action plan laying down the objectives for developing statistics in this field.

Key terms used in the act
  • Immigration: the action by which a person establishes his or her residence in the territory of another EU or non-EU country for a period of at least twelve months;
  • Emigration: the action by which a person, having previously been resident in the territory of an EU country, changes his or her country of residence for a period of at least twelve months;
  • Resettlement: the transfer of non-EU country nationals to an EU country where they are permitted to reside for the purposes of international protection.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 862/2007

20.8.2007

OJ L 199 of 31.7.2007

Related Acts

Commission Regulation (EU) No 351/2010 of 23 April 2010 implementing Regulation (EC) No 862/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council on Community statistics on migration and international protection as regards the definitions of the categories of the groups of country of birth, groups of country of previous usual residence, groups of country of next usual residence and groups of citizenship [Official Journal L 104 of 24.4.2010].
To ensure the comparability of statistics from EU countries and to allow the drawing up of reliable EU-wide overviews from these statistics, it is essential that all EU countries define certain categories of groups in the same manner. Consequently, this regulation establishes the categories of groups of:

  • country of birth;
  • country of previous usual residence;
  • next usual residence;
  • citizenship.

EU countries must transmit data to the Commission according to these groups, as listed in the annex to this regulation. The groups of countries and citizenship are divided into basic groups and additional groups of other non-EU countries and citizenship disaggregated by levels of development. The Commission provides lists of countries and citizenships for each basic and additional group.

Commission Regulation (EU) No 216/2010 of 15 March 2010 implementing Regulation (EC) No 862/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council on Community statistics on migration and international protection, as regards the definitions of categories of the reasons for the residence permits [Official Journal L 66 of 16.3.2010].
To harmonise the collection of statistics by EU countries, this regulation defines in its annex the categories of reasons for issuing residence permits to non-EU country nationals. The list includes categories of reasons relating to:

  • family formation and reunification;
  • education and study;
  • remunerated activities.