Tag Archives: JHA

European evidence warrant

European evidence warrant

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European evidence warrant

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 > Judicial cooperation in criminal matters

European evidence warrant (EEW)

Document or Iniciative

Council Framework Decision 2008/978/JHA of 18 December 2008 on the European evidence warrant for the purpose of obtaining objects, documents and data for use in proceedings in criminal matters.

Summary

The European evidence warrant (EEW) is a judicial decision, whereby objects, documents and data may be obtained from other Member States. The EEW is issued by competent authorities designated by the Member States. An issuing authority may be a judge, court, investigating magistrate, public prosecutor or other judicial authority. Member States must also designate the competent authorities for recognising and executing the EEW.

The EEW may be issued to request objects, documents and data from other Member States for the following types of proceedings:

  • criminal proceedings brought by or to be brought before a judicial authority for criminal offences under the national law of the issuing state;
  • proceedings brought by administrative authorities for acts that are punishable under the law of the issuing state where the decision may give rise to court proceedings;
  • proceedings brought by judicial authorities for acts that are punishable under the law of the issuing state where the decision may give rise to further court proceedings;
  • all of the above, for offences for which the issuing state may punish or hold liable a legal person.

The issuing state must ensure that the evidence requested is necessary and proportionate for these proceedings. In addition, the acquisition of such evidence under similar circumstances in the issuing state must be provided for in its national law. Only once these conditions are met may the EEW be issued.

When the competent authority of an issuing state has reasonable grounds to believe that relevant evidence is located on the territory of another Member State, it may transmit the EEW to the competent authority of that state. The EEW must be transmitted directly from the issuing to the executing authority and in a manner that leaves a written record. To this end, Member States may designate one or more central authorities that will assist the competent authorities. Member States may also take advantage of the secure telecommunications system of the European Judicial Network for the transmission of EEWs.

The EEW is to be recognised by the executing authority without any further formality. The executing authority shall take the necessary measures to execute the EEW, unless it decides to invoke a ground for non-recognition, non-execution or postponement. When the EEW has not been issued or validated by a judge, court, investigating magistrate or public prosecutor, the executing authority may decide not to carry out a search or seizure to execute the warrant. However, it must consult the competent authority of the issuing state before taking such a decision. Member States may declare that they require such validation when the executing measures in a similar domestic case must be ordered or supervised by a judge, court, investigating magistrate or public prosecutor under its law.

If not stipulated otherwise in the framework decision, the executing authority shall comply with the formalities indicated by the issuing authority. However, these formalities may not contradict the fundamental principles of law of the executing state.

The executing state may refuse to recognise or execute the EEW within 30 days of receiving it if:

  • the execution breaches the ne bis in idem principle;
  • in certain cases specified in the framework decision, the act is not an offence under its national law;
  • execution is not possible with the measures available to the executing authority in the specific case;
  • there is an immunity or privilege under the law of the executing state that makes its execution impossible;
  • it has not been validated by a judge, court, investigative magistrate or public prosecutor in the issuing state when so required;
  • the offence was committed on the territory of the executing state or outside the issuing state where the law of the executing state does not allow for legal proceedings;
  • it would harm national security interests;
  • the form is incomplete or incorrectly completed.

The recognition or execution of an EEW may only be subject to verification of double criminality if a search or seizure is required for its execution and if it is not related to the list of offences set out in the framework decision.

The executing state is to take possession of the evidence within 60 days from receiving the EEW, unless there are grounds for postponement.

Member States must ensure that all interested parties have access to legal remedies against the recognition and execution of an EEW. These remedies may be limited to cases where coercive measures are used. The actions are to be brought before a court in the executing state; however, the substantive reasons for issuing the EEW may only be brought before a court in the issuing state.

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Framework Decision 2008/978/JHA

19.1.2009

19.1.2011

OJ L 350 of 30.12.2008

Jurisdiction in criminal proceedings: prevention and settlement of conflicts

Jurisdiction in criminal proceedings: prevention and settlement of conflicts

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Jurisdiction in criminal proceedings: prevention and settlement of conflicts

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 > Judicial cooperation in criminal matters

Jurisdiction in criminal proceedings: prevention and settlement of conflicts

Document or Iniciative

Council Framework Decision 2009/948/JHA of 30 November 2009 on prevention and settlement of conflicts of exercise of jurisdiction in criminal proceedings.

Summary

This framework decision aims to enhance judicial cooperation between European Union (EU) countries, in order to prevent unnecessary parallel criminal proceedings concerning the same facts and the same person.

The framework decision lays out the procedure whereby competent national authorities shall contact each other when they have reasonable grounds to believe that parallel proceedings are being conducted in another EU country. It also establishes the framework for these authorities to enter into direct consultations when parallel proceedings exist, in order to find a solution aimed at avoiding the negative consequences arising from these proceedings.

Exchange of information

If the competent authority of an EU country has reasonable grounds to believe that parallel proceedings are being conducted in another EU country, it must seek confirmation on the existence of such parallel proceedings from the competent authority of that country. The contacted authority must reply without undue delay or within the deadline set by the contacting authority.

With its request, the contacting authority must submit at least the following information:

  • contact details of the competent authority;
  • a description of the facts and circumstances concerning the criminal proceedings;
  • all relevant details about the suspected or accused person and possible victims;
  • the stage of the criminal proceedings;
  • where applicable, information concerning provisional detention or custody of the suspected or accused person.

In its response, the contacted authority must indicate whether criminal proceedings are or have been conducted in its country concerning some or all of the same facts and the same persons as those in the criminal proceedings in the country of the contacting authority. If this is the case, the contacted authority must also provide its contact details as well as the stage of the proceedings or the nature of the final decision.

Direct consultations

If parallel proceedings exist, the relevant authorities shall enter into direct consultations in order to find a solution aimed at avoiding the negative consequences arising from these proceedings. This may lead to the concentration of the proceedings in one EU country.

When the relevant authorities enter into direct consultations they must take into consideration all the facts and merits of the case and all other relevant factors. If no solution is found, the case shall be referred to Eurojust if appropriate and provided that it falls under its competence.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Framework Decision 2009/948/JHA

15.12.2009

15.6.2012

OJ L 328 of 15.12.2009

Exchange of information from criminal records

Exchange of information from criminal records

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Exchange of information from criminal records

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 > Judicial cooperation in criminal matters

Exchange of information from criminal records

Document or Iniciative

Council Framework Decision 2009/315/JHA of 26 February 2009 on the organisation and content of the exchange of information extracted from the criminal record between Member States.

Summary

The objectives of this framework decision are to:

  • define how a convicting Member State is to transmit information on the conviction to the Member State of which the convicted person is a national;
  • define the obligations of the Member State of which the person is a national to store information on convictions and the procedures which that Member State is to follow when replying to requests for information about its nationals;
  • establish a framework for the development of a computerised system of exchange of information on convictions.

Member States are to designate a central authority to carry out the tasks relating to exchanges of information on convictions. For transmitting information and for replying to a request for information, Member States may designate more than one central authority.

Obligations of Member States

Along with information on the conviction, the convicting Member State has the obligation to provide information on the nationality(ies) of the person convicted on its territory in its criminal record.

The central authority of the convicting Member State is obliged to inform the central authorities of the Member State(s) of which the convicted person is national of any convictions of that person provided in its criminal record as soon as possible, including any subsequent alterations or deletions of this information. Such notification must include information on the convicted person, the nature and contents of the conviction, as well as the offence that gave rise to the conviction. The central authority is also to transmit optional information if entered in the criminal record and additional information if available, as listed in the framework decision.

The Member State of which the convicted person is a national has an obligation to store information transmitted to it, as well as to reply to requests for information on convictions within the given period of time. The convicting Member State may stipulate that the information it transmits to the Member State of the convicted person’s nationality may not be retransmitted by the latter for any other purpose than for criminal proceedings.

Requesting information and replying to requests

When information from the criminal record of a Member State is requested, its central authority may in return request information from the criminal record of the central authority of another Member State. The same applies when a person requests information from his/her criminal record from a Member State, provided that s/he is a resident/national of one of the Member States concerned. All requests to central authorities must be made with the form annexed to the framework decision.

When the central authority of the Member State of which the person is a national is asked for information, it is to transmit information on convictions that were handed down on its territory, in other Member States or in third countries and that were either stored by it or entered in its criminal record. All replies to requests for information must be made with the form annexed to the framework decision and within 10 working days from receiving the request. In case the request was made by a person for information from his/her record, the reply must be sent within 20 working days from its receipt.

The requesting Member State may use personal data transmitted to it only for the purposes the data was requested for, unless it is used to prevent an immediate and serious threat to public security.

The Council should adopt further instruments setting up the format of exchanges of information extracted from criminal records and any other means for organising and facilitating such exchanges between Member States by 27 April 2012.

This framework decision repeals Decision 2005/876/JHA on the exchange of information extracted from the criminal record.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Framework Decision 2009/315/JHA

27.4.2009

27.4.2012

OJ L 93 of 7.4.2009

Related Acts

Council Decision of 6 April 2009 on the establishment of the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS) in application of Article 11 of Framework Decision 2009/315/JHA [Official Journal L 93 of 7.4.2009].
This decision implements Framework Decision 2009/315/JHA in establishing the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS). The system will enable an electronic interconnection of criminal records, where information on convictions is exchanged between Member States in a uniform and easily computer-transferable manner.
The objectives of this decision are to:

  • set up the general architecture for the electronic exchange of information extracted from criminal records. ECRIS is a decentralised information technology system based on the criminal record databases in Member States. It consists of an interconnection software that allows exchanges of information between the national databases and of a common communication infrastructure, which will initially be the Trans-European Services for Telematics between Administrations (S-TESTA) network;
  • create a standardised European format of transmission of information on convictions. In this respect it provides for two reference tables of categories of offences and categories of sanctions, which should facilitate the automatic translation and enable the mutual understanding of the information transmitted by using a system of codes. Member States are to refer to these tables when transmitting information on the offence giving rise to the conviction and information on the content of the conviction.

Mutual recognition of protection measures in civil matters

Mutual recognition of protection measures in civil matters

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Mutual recognition of protection measures in civil matters

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 > Judicial cooperation in civil matters

Mutual recognition of protection measures in civil matters (Proposal)

Proposal

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on mutual recognition of protection measures in civil matters [COM(2011) 276 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Victims of violence must continue to benefit from protection measures * against their offender, such as the obligation not to contact or the obligation not to approach the protected person, when they travel or move to another European Union (EU) Member State.

The Commission therefore proposes a Regulation to establish the arrangements for the mutual recognition of protection measures in civil matters. The initiative comes from the Stockholm Programme which recognises the need to go further in matters of victim protection. It also forms part of a series of measures aimed at strengthening victims’ rights. Lastly, it complements an initiative submitted by a group of Member States in September 2009 relating to a Proposal for a Directive on the European Protection Order, aimed at ensuring the mutual recognition of protection measures taken in criminal matters.

Scope

The Regulation concerns protection measures taken in civil matters only. It does not cover protection measures taken in matrimonial matters and matters of parental responsibility. In the event of a violation of a protection measure, criminal sanctions will continue to be dealt with by the national law of each EU country.

Due to their more specific nature, the measures provided for by this Regulation will replace those on the jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.

Recognition and enforcement of judgments

To invoke a protection order in another EU country (the Member State of recognition), the protected person must simply present a certificate issued by the country which adopted the order (the Member State of origin). The Proposal provides for a standardised certificate containing all the information required for recognition, and if necessary, for enforcing the protection measure.

In cases of a cross-border nature or if requested by the protected person, the certificate shall be issued at the time of adoption of the measure.

One ground for refusal of recognition is provided for: in cases where the decision is irreconcilable with a decision taken by the Member State of recognition. The fact that the country does not have protection measures or has different measures does not prevent it from recognising the decision. If necessary, the Member State may adapt the protection measure to a similar one known under its own law.

If required, the Member State of recognition must ensure the enforcement of the measure by the competent authorities.

Arrangements are put in place in order to safeguard fundamental rights:

  • before issuing the certificate, the Member State of origin must verify that the fundamental rights of the person causing the risk, such as the right to a fair trial and the right of defence, have been respected;
  • in the event of suspension or withdrawal of the measure by the Member State of origin, the Member State of recognition shall suspend or withdraw the recognition and the enforcement of the measure at request of the person causing the risk;
  • the Member State of origin and the Member State of recognition must bring to the notice of the person causing the risk and of the protected person any information related to the issuing, recognition, possible enforcement and sanctions, and suspension or withdrawal of the protection measure.
Key terms of the Act
  • Protection measure: any decision of a preventive and temporary nature taken by an authority in a Member State with a view to protecting a person when serious reasons exist to consider the person’s physical and/or psychological integrity or liberty to be at risk. This includes measures which are adopted without the person causing the risk being summoned to appear.

Reference

Proposal Official Journal Procedure

COM(2011) 276 final

2011/130/COD

Related Acts

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime [COM(2011) 275 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The proposed Directive establishes minimum standards for the victims of crime. It aims to ensure that the specific needs of victims are taken into account during criminal proceedings, regardless of the nature of the offence or where it took place within the EU.

Co-decision procedure (2011/0129/COD)

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 18 May 2011 – Strengthening victims’ rights in the EU [COM(2011) 274 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Action plan on unaccompanied minors

Action plan on unaccompanied minors

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Action plan on unaccompanied minors

Topics

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

Human rights > Human rights in non-EU countries

Action plan on unaccompanied minors (2010-14)

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 6 May 2010 – Action Plan on Unaccompanied Minors (2010 – 2014) [COM(2010) 213 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

A significant number of unaccompanied minors arrive in the European Union (EU) each year. The term “unaccompanied minors” refers to non-EU country nationals or stateless persons who are below the age of eighteen and who arrive in an EU country unaccompanied by a responsible adult or who are left unaccompanied after having entered an EU country.

Although EU legislative and financial instruments on asylum, immigration and trafficking in human beings address, either directly or indirectly, the situation of unaccompanied minors, greater coherence and better cooperation is needed within the EU as well as with countries of origin and transit. In order for the EU and its countries to respond more effectively, a common approach needs to be established that respects the rights of the child provided by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and that is based on solidarity between the relevant countries and cooperation with civil society and international organisations.

This action plan identifies several problems and presents a number of solutions relating to the situation of unaccompanied minors. It acknowledges the lack of data on these minors and sets out three main strands for action: prevention, protection and durable solutions.

Data on unaccompanied minors

Comprehensive, reliable and comparable data is paramount to properly assessing and finding appropriate solutions to the situation of unaccompanied minors. Currently, the regulation on statistics on migration requires EU countries to only provide data on unaccompanied minors applying for international protection. This limitation needs to be overcome to obtain harmonised and complete statistics on all unaccompanied minors.

The information and data exchanges between EU countries should be improved with the help of existing agencies and networks, such as the European Migration Network and the European Asylum Support Office. Cooperation with countries of origin and transit should also be improved. To this end, the gathering of information on migration routes and criminal networks is essential. The systematic inclusion of this information in the migration profiles of the countries concerned should also be promoted. Both Frontex and Europol are already active in their respective fields; however, their roles with regard to data collection and analysis should be further reinforced.

Main strands of action

To effectively deal with the issue of unaccompanied minors, the first action must consist of preventing the unsafe migration and trafficking of children. In this context, consideration must be given to the different reasons the minors leave their country/region of origin and come to the EU. Therefore, central to the preventive work is collaboration with countries of origin and transit as well as with civil society and international organisations. Prevention involves four principal areas:

  • addressing the issue of migration of unaccompanied minors in other policy fields, such as development cooperation, poverty reduction, education, health and human rights;
  • promoting awareness-raising activities and training relating to early identification and protection of victims targeted at those who are or will be in contact with children in the countries of origin and transit;
  • promoting awareness-raising activities on the risks relating to irregular migration targeted at children and their families;
  • supporting the development of comprehensive child protection systems and birth registration systems.

EU and national external cooperation instruments should be used to support activities in these areas. At the same time, it is essential that protection programmes close to countries of origin continue to be financed.

Upon detection at the border or on the territory of the EU, an unaccompanied minor must be placed under appropriate protection. While provisions on reinforced protection are included in the relevant EU migration instruments, they are context-specific and do not provide the same standards of reception and assistance. The appointment of a representative for an unaccompanied minor should be guaranteed. It is also paramount to separate minors from adults to prevent (re)victimisation. In addition, minors should be provided with appropriate accommodation; detention should only be used in exceptional cases.

Early profiling of the type of minor, building trust and the use of measures provided by EU legislation are important for:

  • identifying the minor, assessing his/her age and tracing his/her family;
  • preventing the minor’s disappearance form care;
  • identifying/prosecuting the traffickers/smugglers.

In order to find durable solutions, each case should be assessed individually, keeping in mind the best interests of the child. An unaccompanied minor may either be:

  • returned and reintegrated in his/her country of origin, with priority given to voluntary return, in full respect of the safeguards provided by the “Return Directive”;
  • granted an international protection or other legal status and integrated in the host country;
  • resettled to an EU country.

Compensation to crime victims

Compensation to crime victims

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Compensation to crime victims

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 > Fight against terrorism

Compensation to crime victims

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 2004/80/EC of 29 April 2004 relating to compensation to crime victims.

Summary

Crime victims should be entitled to fair and appropriate compensation for the injuries they have suffered, regardless of where in the European Union (EU) the crime was committed. This directive contributes to this by:

  • requiring Member States to provide in their national legislation for a compensation scheme for victims of violent intentional crime committed in their territories;
  • setting up a system facilitating access to compensation for victims of crimes in cross-border situations (possibility of making an application in the Member State of residence, designation of central contact points in Member States, etc.).

Guaranteeing adequate compensation for victims of crime throughout the EU

It is often difficult to obtain compensation for victims either because the offender does not have the necessary financial resources or because it has not been possible to identify or prosecute the offender (the possibility of obtaining compensation from the offender is dealt with in the framework decision on the standing of victims in criminal proceedings). Most Member States are aware of this fact and have already introduced state-funded compensation schemes. However, these schemes differ greatly, and these differences have engendered substantial inequalities in terms of full coverage of all EU citizens and amount of compensation.

Following the entry into force of the directive, it will be possible for the victim of a crime to be compensated in cross-border and national situations irrespective of the victim’s country of residence or the Member State in which the crime was committed. The amount of compensation to be paid to individual victims is left to the discretion of the Member State in which the crime was committed, but it must be fair and appropriate.

Facilitating claims for compensation by victims in cross-border situations

This directive sets up a system of cooperation to facilitate access to compensation for victims of crimes in cross-border situations. This system is to operate on the basis of Member States’ compensation schemes for victims of violent intentional crime committed in their respective territories. All Member States must therefore set up a compensation mechanism and introduce national legislation providing for a compensation scheme for victims by 1 July 2005.

Providing for the setting up of a compensation scheme and reinforcing cooperation between Member States

All Member States must ensure that their national legislation provides for the existence of a compensation scheme ensuring that victims of violent intentional crime committed in their respective territories receive fair and appropriate compensation.

This directive sets up a system of cooperation between national authorities to facilitate access to compensation for victims in cross-border situations. Victims of crimes committed outside their Member State of habitual residence may ask an authority in the Member State in which they are residing (assisting authority) to provide information on how to apply for compensation. The authority in the Member State of habitual residence transmits the application directly to the authority in the Member State where the crime was committed (deciding authority), which is responsible for assessing the application and paying out the compensation.

The Commission has established standard forms for the transmission of applications and decisions relating to compensation to victims (see “Related acts”).

With a view to implementation, the directive makes provision for the drawing up and publishing of a manual for the assisting authorities on the internet. The directive also provides for the setting up of a system of central contact points in each Member State to facilitate cooperation in cross-border situations. Additional information is available on the website of the European Judicial Atlas in Civil Matters.

Member States are required to implement the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this directive by 1 Janaury 2006 at the latest.

Not later than 1 January 2009, the Commission will submit a report on the implementation of this directive to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee.

Background

In 1999, the Commission presented a communication with a view to improving the situation of crime victims in the EU. In addition, at the Tampere European Council, Member States recognised the need to lay down minimum standards on the protection of victims of crime in the Union. On 15 March 2001, the Council adopted a framework decision on the standing of victims in criminal proceedings. This framework decision contains provisions on compensation by the offender, but does not otherwise address the matter of compensation of crime victims.

Subsequently, on 28 September 2001, the Commission presented a green paper on the compensation of victims of crime, which targeted two main areas for potential action:

  • the adoption of minimum standards with regard to compensation at European level by requiring Member States to guarantee victims a reasonable level of state compensation;
  • the adoption of measures making access to compensation easy in practice, irrespective of where in the EU the crime was committed.

This directive follows on from the green paper. After the terrorist attacks in Madrid in March 2004, the Commission called for the adoption of the directive before 1 May 2004 in its declaration on combating terrorism.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2004/80/EC

26.8.2004

1.1.2006

OJ L 261, 6.8.2004.

Related Acts

Report from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee of 20 April 2009 on the application of Council Directive 2004/80/EC relating to compensation to crime victims [COM(2009) 170 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
This report evaluates the application of the directive in Member States during the period of 1 January 2006 – 31 December 2008. Only 15 Member States met the deadline for the transposition of the directive (1 January 2006). Subsequent notifications have been received from 11 Member States. The evaluation is thus not complete.
In any case, 25 Member States have put in place schemes for victims to submit applications, established the responsible authorities and implemented the provisions concerning administrative procedures. Most have also notified of their measures and methods for providing applicants information on compensation schemes.
Due to the recent implementation of the directive in some Member States, language barriers that some have encountered as well as a lack of knowledge of other legal systems and procedures, the number of cross-border applications and actions has remained very low. Furthermore, the processing and transmitting of applications and decisions varies greatly from one Member State to another.
All but one Member State have in place fair and appropriate national compensation schemes. Most compensate victims for personal injury, long-term disability and death, as well as close relatives in cases of homicide, but exclude unintentional injuries from their scope. However, the offences must have been reported to the police. Most Member States impose time limits for applications and upper limits for compensations. Most also provide for reduced compensations when the victim contributed to his/her injury.
Only 13 Member States transmitted to the Commission full details of the assisting and deciding authorities, the languages in which information may be transmitted between these authorities, the measures for providing information to applicants and the application forms. Consequently, the manual containing these details, which is published in the Atlas, will be updated regularly.

Commission Decision 2006/337/EC of 19 April 2006 establishing standard forms for the transmission of applications and decisions pursuant to Council Directive 2004/80/EC relating to compensation to crime victims [Official Journal L 125 of 12.5.2006].
The Commission has established standard forms for the transmission of applications and decisions relating to compensation. These forms are attached as an annex to the decision.

Fight against organised crime: participation in a criminal organisation

Fight against organised crime: participation in a criminal organisation

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Fight against organised crime: participation in a criminal organisation

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 > Fight against organised crime

Fight against organised crime: participation in a criminal organisation

Acts

Council Framework Decision 2008/841/JHA of 24 October 2008 on the fight against organised crime.

Summary

The aim of this Framework Decision is to harmonise Member States’ definitions of crimes related to a criminal organisation * and to lay down corresponding penalties for these offences. There are two types of conduct of which Member States must recognise at least one as an offence:

  • active participation in an organisation’s criminal activities, with the knowledge of its aim or of its intention to commit crimes;
  • an agreement on the perpetration of crimes without necessarily taking part in committing them.

The Member States must take steps to penalise the above offences in that the first results in a maximum term of imprisonment of a minimum of two to five years, and the second in a maximum term of imprisonment equivalent to that of the planned activities or in a maximum term of a minimum of two to five years. The Member States may reduce, or allow for an exemption from, these penalties if the offender relinquishes criminal activity and assists the authorities by providing them with otherwise unobtainable information on the offence and the other offenders.

The Member States must also hold any legal person * accountable for the above offences that have been committed on its behalf by a person who has a central role in the legal person in question, even if that person has acted in an individual capacity. An offence committed, as a result of lack of supervision, by a person under the authority of the former may also be held against the legal person.

The legal persons held accountable for offences must be punished by effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties. These should include both criminal and non-criminal fines. The penalties may also include the following:

  • ending the right to public aid;
  • temporarily or permanently prohibiting commercial activities;
  • placing under judicial supervision;
  • judicial winding-up;
  • temporarily or permanently closing the establishments used for the offences.

A Member State’s jurisdiction must cover the offences if they are committed on its territory, in whole or in part, by its national or on behalf of a legal person set up on its territory. If the offence is committed outside a Member State’s territory, it may choose whether or not to apply the last two rules. If the offence falls within the jurisdiction of several Member States, they must collaborate, for example via Eurojust, in order to decide on the prosecuting country and thus to centralise the proceedings. However, in doing so, the Member States must give due consideration to where the offence was carried out, the nationality or place of residence of the offender, the country of origin of the victim and the territory where the offender was found.

If a Member State does not extradite or surrender its nationals, it must revamp its jurisdiction and take steps to prosecute its nationals when they commit an offence outside its territory. Simultaneously, the Member State may continue to apply its jurisdiction to criminal matters as stipulated in its national law.

For offences that have been committed on the territory of a Member State, the investigations and prosecutions by that Member State must be carried out without requiring a report or an accusation from a victim.

Background

The need to improve the measures used to combat organised crime was acknowledged in the Commission Communication of 29 March 2004 on measures to be taken to combat terrorism and other forms of serious crime, in particular to improve exchanges of information. Hence, the Commission simultaneously informed of its intention to draw up a Framework Decision that would replace Joint Action 98/733/JHA of 21 December 1998 on making it a criminal offence to participate in a criminal organisation in the Member States of the European Union. This Framework Decision 2008/841/JHA therefore repeals the Join Action 98/773/JHA.

Key terms used in the act

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  • Criminal organisation: a structured association, established over a period of time, of more than two persons acting in concert with a view to committing offences that are punishable by deprivation of liberty or a detention order of a maximum of at least four years or a serious penalty, to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit.
  • Structured association: an association that is not randomly formed for the immediate commission of an offence, nor does it need to have formally defined roles for its members, continuity of its membership, or a developed structure.
  • Legal person: any entity having legal personality under the applicable law, except for States or public bodies in the exercise of State authority and for public international organisations.

References

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Framework Decision 2008/841/JHA

11.11.2008

11.5.2010

OJ L 300 of 11.11.2008

Action plan on the Stockholm Programme

Action plan on the Stockholm Programme

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Action plan on the Stockholm Programme

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 > Judicial cooperation in criminal matters

Action plan on the Stockholm Programme

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 20 April 2010 – Delivering an area of freedom, security and justice for Europe’s citizens – Action Plan Implementing the Stockholm Programme [COM(2010) 171 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The European Union’s (EU) priorities for developing an area of justice, freedom and security during the period 2010-14 are set out in the Stockholm Programme. This action plan aims to deliver those priorities as well as to prepare for future challenges both at European and global level.

Europe of rights

The action plan provides for measures to ensure the protection of fundamental rights. These consist of reinforcing data protection law through a new comprehensive legal framework, as well as of incorporating data protection into all EU policies, law enforcement, crime prevention and international relations. Actions are also intended to fight against all forms of discrimination, racism, xenophobia and homophobia. Particular attention is given to protecting the rights of the child and vulnerable groups, including victims of crime and terrorism. For the protection of the latter, the Commission will propose a comprehensive instrument and practical measures, including a European Protection Order. The Commission will also make legislative proposals regarding the rights of individuals in criminal proceedings and actions relating to detention. Furthermore, the action plan provides for measures to empower European citizens, in particular as regards the right to free movement, protection in non-EU countries and civic participation.

Europe of justice

In order to strengthen the European judicial area, the action plan sets out measures to further implement the principle of mutual recognition. This includes legislative proposals on obtaining and gathering of evidence, disqualifications and financial penalties in criminal matters. The Commission also intends to propose new legislation on civil matters, such as relating to divorce, and revise the regulation concerning judgements in civil and commercial matters. For the principle of mutual recognition to function effectively, the Commission will take actions to strengthen mutual trust. To this end, actions to develop common minimum standards in both criminal and civil law will also be proposed. In addition, for citizens to better benefit from the European judicial area, the Commission will propose actions to facilitate access to justice, especially in terms of legislation relating to civil status documents, and to support economic activity, such as legislative proposals on the enforcement of judgements. At the same time, the Commission intends to increase the EU’s international presence in the field of civil and criminal law, mainly through the negotiation of agreements and conventions with non-EU countries.

Europe that protects

To better protect citizens and tackle cross-border crime, the action plan provides for the drafting of an internal security strategy. The Commission also aims to improve the existing security tools, in particular those relating to the management of information flows, as well as to propose the take up of technological security tools, such as a European register of convicted non-EU nationals. In addition, the action plan provides for improved policies to fight cross-border crime, mainly better cooperation in European law enforcement, including between the European Police Office, Eurojust and the European external borders agency (Frontex), as well as better crime prevention. In order to protect against serious and organised crime, the action plan also provides for specific measures to fight crime, including legislative proposals on:

  • trafficking in human beings;
  • sexual exploitation of children and child pornography;
  • cyber-crime and network information security;
  • economic crime and corruption;
  • drugs;
  • terrorism.

The Commission also intends to reinforce the EU’s capacity to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters, both man-made and natural. To this end, the action plan provides for measures that complement and improve EU disaster management.

Access to Europe

The Commission will take actions to further develop the integrated approach to managing the EU’s external borders. These include legislative proposals to modify Frontex, the Schengen Borders Code and the European Border Surveillance System (Eurosur). The Commission will also propose the setting up of an Entry Exit System (EES) and a Registered Traveller Programme (RTP). Furthermore, the Commission will continue with visa liberalisation by negotiating Visa Facilitation Agreements with non-EU countries, as well as with the launch of the Visa Information System (VIS).

Europe of solidarity

The Commission intends to pursue a dynamic and comprehensive immigration policy, which will consist of actions that:

  • further develop the EU Global Approach to Migration to increase cooperation with non-EU countries;
  • support migration to fulfil the needs of the EU countries’ labour-markets;
  • promote the integration and the rights of migrants;
  • tackle illegal migration through readmission agreements and return policies;
  • take into account the situation of unaccompanied minors.

The Commission also aims to pursue a common asylum policy to establish a common area of protection for asylum seekers through the sharing of responsibility by EU countries. The action plan also provides for a strengthened external dimension through cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the development of the EU Resettlement Programme as well as of new regional protection programmes.

Europe in a globalised world

The action plan reiterates the interconnection between the internal and external dimension of justice, freedom and security policies. Consequently, it provides for actions that reinforce the external dimension, in particular for better cooperation and information sharing between EU countries. In addition, the Commission aims at taking into account the external dimension in its relations with non-EU countries, including in a variety of agreements and partnership arrangements. The action plan also provides for continued support for the Council of Europe conventions on trafficking in human beings, data protection, protection of children, cybercrime and corruption, as well as for the Hague Conference on Private International Law.

The way forward

In order to transform the political priorities established by the Stockholm Programme into concrete actions and results, the action plan provides measures for:

  • evaluating justice, freedom and security policies and mechanisms;
  • training legal and security professionals as well as judicial and law enforcement authorities;
  • public awareness-raising activities;
  • dialogue with civil society;
  • new financial programmes.


Another Normative about Action plan on the Stockholm Programme

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

Action plan on the Stockholm Programme

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 20 April 2010 – Delivering an area of freedom, security and justice for Europe’s citizens – Action Plan Implementing the Stockholm Programme [COM(2010) 171 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The European Union’s (EU) priorities for developing an area of justice, freedom and security during the period 2010-14 are set out in the Stockholm Programme. This action plan aims to deliver those priorities as well as to prepare for future challenges both at European and global level.

Europe of rights

The action plan provides for measures to ensure the protection of fundamental rights. These consist of reinforcing data protection law through a new comprehensive legal framework, as well as of incorporating data protection into all EU policies, law enforcement, crime prevention and international relations. Actions are also intended to fight against all forms of discrimination, racism, xenophobia and homophobia. Particular attention is given to protecting the rights of the child and vulnerable groups, including victims of crime and terrorism. For the protection of the latter, the Commission will propose a comprehensive instrument and practical measures, including a European Protection Order. The Commission will also make legislative proposals regarding the rights of individuals in criminal proceedings and actions relating to detention. Furthermore, the action plan provides for measures to empower European citizens, in particular as regards the right to free movement, protection in non-EU countries and civic participation.

Europe of justice

In order to strengthen the European judicial area, the action plan sets out measures to further implement the principle of mutual recognition. This includes legislative proposals on obtaining and gathering of evidence, disqualifications and financial penalties in criminal matters. The Commission also intends to propose new legislation on civil matters, such as relating to divorce, and revise the regulation concerning judgements in civil and commercial matters. For the principle of mutual recognition to function effectively, the Commission will take actions to strengthen mutual trust. To this end, actions to develop common minimum standards in both criminal and civil law will also be proposed. In addition, for citizens to better benefit from the European judicial area, the Commission will propose actions to facilitate access to justice, especially in terms of legislation relating to civil status documents, and to support economic activity, such as legislative proposals on the enforcement of judgements. At the same time, the Commission intends to increase the EU’s international presence in the field of civil and criminal law, mainly through the negotiation of agreements and conventions with non-EU countries.

Europe that protects

To better protect citizens and tackle cross-border crime, the action plan provides for the drafting of an internal security strategy. The Commission also aims to improve the existing security tools, in particular those relating to the management of information flows, as well as to propose the take up of technological security tools, such as a European register of convicted non-EU nationals. In addition, the action plan provides for improved policies to fight cross-border crime, mainly better cooperation in European law enforcement, including between the European Police Office, Eurojust and the European external borders agency (Frontex), as well as better crime prevention. In order to protect against serious and organised crime, the action plan also provides for specific measures to fight crime, including legislative proposals on:

  • trafficking in human beings;
  • sexual exploitation of children and child pornography;
  • cyber-crime and network information security;
  • economic crime and corruption;
  • drugs;
  • terrorism.

The Commission also intends to reinforce the EU’s capacity to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters, both man-made and natural. To this end, the action plan provides for measures that complement and improve EU disaster management.

Access to Europe

The Commission will take actions to further develop the integrated approach to managing the EU’s external borders. These include legislative proposals to modify Frontex, the Schengen Borders Code and the European Border Surveillance System (Eurosur). The Commission will also propose the setting up of an Entry Exit System (EES) and a Registered Traveller Programme (RTP). Furthermore, the Commission will continue with visa liberalisation by negotiating Visa Facilitation Agreements with non-EU countries, as well as with the launch of the Visa Information System (VIS).

Europe of solidarity

The Commission intends to pursue a dynamic and comprehensive immigration policy, which will consist of actions that:

  • further develop the EU Global Approach to Migration to increase cooperation with non-EU countries;
  • support migration to fulfil the needs of the EU countries’ labour-markets;
  • promote the integration and the rights of migrants;
  • tackle illegal migration through readmission agreements and return policies;
  • take into account the situation of unaccompanied minors.

The Commission also aims to pursue a common asylum policy to establish a common area of protection for asylum seekers through the sharing of responsibility by EU countries. The action plan also provides for a strengthened external dimension through cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the development of the EU Resettlement Programme as well as of new regional protection programmes.

Europe in a globalised world

The action plan reiterates the interconnection between the internal and external dimension of justice, freedom and security policies. Consequently, it provides for actions that reinforce the external dimension, in particular for better cooperation and information sharing between EU countries. In addition, the Commission aims at taking into account the external dimension in its relations with non-EU countries, including in a variety of agreements and partnership arrangements. The action plan also provides for continued support for the Council of Europe conventions on trafficking in human beings, data protection, protection of children, cybercrime and corruption, as well as for the Hague Conference on Private International Law.

The way forward

In order to transform the political priorities established by the Stockholm Programme into concrete actions and results, the action plan provides measures for:

  • evaluating justice, freedom and security policies and mechanisms;
  • training legal and security professionals as well as judicial and law enforcement authorities;
  • public awareness-raising activities;
  • dialogue with civil society;
  • new financial programmes.

The Hague Programme: 10 priorities for the next five years

The Hague Programme: 10 priorities for the next five years

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The Hague Programme: 10 priorities for the next five years

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 > Judicial cooperation in criminal matters

The Hague Programme: 10 priorities for the next five years

How can we strengthen the area of freedom, security and justice within the European Union? The Commission’s answer to this question consists of 10 priorities for the next five years.

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 10 May 2005 – The Hague Programme: ten priorities for the next five years. The Partnership for European renewal in the field of Freedom, Security and Justice [COM(2005) 184 final – Official Journal C 236 of 24.9.2005].

Summary

The multiannual Hague Programme, adopted at the European Council of 4 and 5 November 2004, sets out 10 priorities for the Union with a view to strengthening the area of freedom, security and justice in the next five years. An annex to the communication sets out specific measures and a timetable for their adoption (see also Action Plan).

The Commission feels that efforts should be concentrated on the following 10 priorities:

Strengthening fundamental rights and citizenship. The Union plans to monitor and promote the observance of fundamental rights in European policies. Among other things, it converted the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia into the European Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) in January 2007. The Commission will devote special attention to children’s rights and to continuing its efforts to combat violence against women. It also intends to work against all kinds of discrimination and to ensure the protection of personal data. The way in which the rights conferred by European citizenship – such as free movement within the Union and voting rights in European Parliament and local elections – are exercised must also be improved. The measures adopted by the Commission include inter alia the “Fundamental Rights and Justice” framework programme and assessment reports on how successfully directives regarding the right to move and reside freely are applied.

Anti-terrorist measures. A comprehensive response to terrorism is the only way to combat it effectively. The approach must be integrated and coherent. The Commission emphasises the need for terrorism prevention and exchanging information. Its intention is to support Member States in their fight against terrorism by focusing on terrorism recruitment and financing, prevention, risk analysis, protection of vulnerable infrastructure and consequence management. Terrorism and its causes can only be combated effectively through cooperation with third countries. The measures adopted by the Commission to achieve its objectives include: proposals aimed at strengthening cooperation between the law-enforcement services of Member States, particularly by improved exchanges of information, a European framework for the protection of related data, a communication on the protection of critical infrastructure, a communication on the prevention of and the fight against terrorism financing, a proposal on preventing the misuse of charitable organisations for the financing of terrorism and monitoring the pilot project in place for the victims of terrorism.

Defining a balanced approach to migration. The Commission intends to come up with a new, balanced approach to dealing with legal and illegal immigration. This involves fighting illegal immigration and the trafficking of human beings, especially women and children. The Hague Programme provides for the adoption of a communication and a plan for legal immigration.

The proper management of migration flows also involves greater cooperation with third countries in all fields, including the readmission and return of migrants. The measures introduced by the Commission to achieve this include the “Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows” framework programme, which covers the creation of an External Borders Fund, an Integration Fund, a Return Fund and a European Refugee Fund.

Developing integrated management of the Union’s external borders. Within the Union, the free movement of persons is made possible by the removal of internal border controls. This requires greater efforts to strengthen the integrated management of external borders. The FRONTEX-Agency has been set up to manage external borders and may be given additional tasks in the future. Equally important is the creation of an effective visa policy through development of, for example, a visa information system and, in the future, a common European consular service. One of the short-term priorities is to make identity and travel documents more secure by equipping them with biometric identifiers.

Setting up a common asylum procedure
. The Commission aims to set up a harmonised and effective asylum procedure. In the short-term, it will be submitting a proposal for a directive concerning long-term resident status for refugees and in the medium-term, once the way in which existing legislation is being applied has been assessed, it will propose a common procedure and status for refugees. Operational cooperation in the field of asylum will be continued and maintained, notably by way of the European Refugee Fund.

Maximising the positive impact of immigration. Immigrant communities must be integrated if they are not to become isolated and excluded from society. The Commission encourages Member States to push ahead with their integration policies in order to help improve mutual understanding and dialogue between religions and cultures. It also intends to set up a European framework for integration and to promote a structural exchange of experience and information on integration.

Striking the right balance between privacy and security while sharing information. Law-enforcement authorities must be able to share information if they are to fight terrorism and investigate cross-border crime effectively. The Union must support constructive dialogue between all interested parties in order to find solutions accommodating both the availability of information and the observance of fundamental rights, such as the protection of privacy and the protection of data. The European Police Office (Europol) has a central role in this context.

Developing a strategic concept on tackling organised crime. Cooperation between Member States’ law-enforcement authorities, such as the police or customs, must be improved in the fight against organised crime. Working towards a European model for criminal intelligence is a priority. Therefore, the Commission adopted a communication on developing a strategic concept on tackling organised crime in 2005.

A genuine European area of justice. Access to justice must be guaranteed in order for judgments to be made and enforced. The Union must take steps to instil mutual confidence between Member States by laying down minimum procedural standards, which for example safeguard the right of defence.

As regards civil legal matters, the Commission is focusing on completing its mutual recognition programme for judgments in civil and commercial matters. To this end, it has initiated consultations regarding judgments on family property, succession and wills with a view to drawing up new legislative proposals.

As regards criminal legal matters, legislation must sometimes be approximated and minimum legal procedural standards must be set up if mutual confidence between Member States is to be strengthened. Eurojust is the key player as regards judicial cooperation in criminal matters.

The Commission also wishes to see greater protection of the Union’s financial interests. Operational measures to safeguard a genuine European area of justice include: Union support for judicial organisations and institution networks, justice quality assessment, a communication on legal training in the EU and seminars to promote cooperation between legal practitioners.

Sharing responsibility and solidarity. No political objective can be met without adequate funding. The Hague Programme was adopted at a time when the Commission was preparing its proposals for the financial perspective 2007-13; this made it possible to ensure that the objectives of the Hague Programme were in line with the financial means available for them over the same period. In April 2005, the Commission presented three framework programmes examining which type of political and financial instruments most effectively enable the objectives of freedom, security and justice to be met.

The Commission attaches great importance to the implementation of provisions and to how it can assess and evaluate such implementation by Member States. Political flexibility in matters concerning justice, freedom and security enables political priorities to be shuffled in response to unexpected events, such as the London attacks of 7 July 2005. The nature and scale of such events are often international. The Action Plan should therefore also be flexible and adaptable. The European Council wished to have a midterm-review , and the Commission provided annual “scoreboards” on the state of implementation of the Hague Programme.

Related Acts

Council and Commission Action Plan implementing the Hague Programme on strengthening freedom, security and justice in the European Union [Official Journal C 198 of 12.8.2005].
This Action Plan is intended to serve as a frame of reference for the work of the Council and the Commission for 2004-09. It contains a timetable for the adoption and implementation of the actions set out in the Plan that were designed to put into practice the priorities and objectives of the Hague Programme (strengthening freedom, security and justice in the EU) adopted as a result of the above communication. These measures – legislative proposals, consultation documents (green papers) and reports – are designed to give a practical aspect to the Hague Programme in an effective way.

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 10 June 2009 – Justice, freedom and security in Europe since 2005: an evaluation of the Hague Programme and Action Plan [COM(2009) 263 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
In this communication, the Commission presents the evaluations of the implementation of the Hague Programme at both the EU and Member State levels as well as the themes to guide future action within the next multiannual programme (the Stockholm Programme).
Initiatives in the field of justice, freedom and security are relatively recent compared to other actions taken at the EU-level. Nevertheless, progress has been achieved on a number of measures, such as on the protection of fundamental rights, asylum and immigration policies, border management and visa policy, anti-terrorism and the fight against crime, as well as police cooperation.
The realisation of a European area of justice has also progressed, especially through improved cross-border judicial cooperation in both civil and criminal matters. Significant progress has been made in particular on the legislative and operational aspects of the principle on mutual recognition, which is the cornerstone of judicial cooperation.
While the fight against drugs has also been effective, drug use in certain Member States has increased.
Less progress has been made on the rights of EU citizens, in particular due to the deficient transposition by Member States of Directive 2004/38/EC on the free movement of citizens within the Union.
In general though, most of the specific measures set out in the Hague Programme have been adopted, though the full impact of many of them will be realised only in the longer term. Nevertheless, due to the specific nature of the justice, freedom and security policy area, progress has been relatively uneven. For example, decision-making under the “third pillar” has been slow and at times limiting the desired outcomes. In addition, transposition by Member States of legislative instruments falling under the “third pillar” is often delayed and no recourse exists for formal infringement procedures. The Lisbon Treaty, once in effect, should speed up decision-making, while future action should focus on consolidating and enforcing the existing legal framework.

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 2 July 2008 – Report on Implementation of the Hague Programme for 2007 [COM(2008) 373 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
This third annual report (“scoreboard”) illustrates a relatively similar trend with regard to progress as the previous reports (below). However, the overall assessment is rather unsatisfactory, with the rate of achievement only 38% compared to 53% in 2006. A higher number of actions were also either delayed or abandoned altogether as compared to 2006.
As in previous years, insufficient progress was made in particular on the “third pillar” actions, namely on the prevention of and fight against organised crime, police and customs cooperation, and judicial cooperation in criminal matters. Nevertheless, good progress was made in the fight against terrorism, which remains a political priority within Justice and Home Affairs. Significant developments were also made in the other priority areas that fall under the “first pillar”. These include migration and border policy, and judicial cooperation in civil matters. However, progress on visa policy was not perceived as sufficient.
Some Member States have made considerable progress with national transposition, in contrast to previous years. Yet, many continue to miss the transposition deadlines by one or more years. Furthermore, for some of the legal instruments, transposition by Member States has been incomplete or even incorrect. Consequently, decision-making should be improved within the area of Justice and Home Affairs.
As a result of the insufficient progress made on certain actions over the past few years, the Commission is aiming to present a communication on the future of justice, freedom and security policies in 2009. This communication should not only further developments in this policy area, but also serve as the starting point for the next multiannual (2010-14) programme.

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 3 July 2007 – Report on the implementation of the Hague Programme for 2006 [COM(2007) 373 final –Official Journal C 191 of 17.8.2007].
The overall assessment of the Hague Programme was mixed: 53% of the actions were achieved but progress was not consistent in all policy areas.
Progress was made in “first pillar” areas such as fundamental rights, citizenship, civil justice, the European drugs strategy, asylum and migration, and visa and border policies. However, delays occurred in “third pillar” areas such as police and judicial cooperation, where unanimity was required.
The “scoreboard” shows that implementation at national level was not satisfactory. A number of Member States missed the deadlines for transposing the legal instruments into national law, in some cases by one or more years.

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 28 June 2006 – Report on the implementation of the Hague Programme for 2005 [COM(2006) 333 final – Official Journal C 184 of 8.8.2006].
This communication examines the state of play on each measure scheduled in the Hague Programme for 2005, or on a regular/ongoing basis in the Hague Action Plan. In addition to this monitoring of the adoption process, and for the first time as part of such an exercise for justice, freedom and security policies, it looks into the monitoring of the national implementation of these policies. This initial assessment reveals that, despite progress achieved by the Union in “communitised” justice, freedom and security policies such as judicial cooperation in civil matters, unanimous voting delayed the adoption of priority policies under the Hague Programme, such as those concerning the first phase of the European asylum system. At a national level, both the adoption and implementation of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters (the “third pillar”) remain especially problematic.

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 28 June 2006 – Evaluation of EU Policies on Freedom, Security and Justice [COM(2006) 332 final – Official Journal C 184 of 8.8.2006].

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 28 June 2006 – Implementing the Hague Programme: the way forward [COM(2006) 331 final – Official Journal C 184 of 8.8.2006].