Select Committee on European Scrutiny Fourteenth Report


A FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME TO SUPPORT POLICE AND JUDICIAL CO-OPERATION IN CRIMINAL MATTERS


(23045)

14963/01

COM(01) 646


Draft Council Decision establishing a framework programme on the basis of Title VI of the Treaty on European Union — Police and judicial co-operation in criminal matters.

Legal base:Articles 31 and 34(2)(c)EU; consultation; unanimity
Document originated:9 November 2001
Forwarded to the Council:9 November 2001
Deposited in Parliament:4 January 2002
Department:Home Office
Basis of consideration:EM of 9 January 2002
Previous Committee Report:None; but see (21903) 14245/00: HC 28-iv (2000-01), paragraph 9 (24 January 2001) and (21988) 14740/00: HC 28-xi (2000-01), paragraph 14 (4 April 2001)
To be discussed in Council:Date not set
Committee's assessment:Politically important
Committee's decision:Cleared


Background

  14.1  There are currently five separate programmes set up under Title VI EU for the funding of exchanges, training and co-operation for practitioners involved in combating crime: Grotius II (for legal practitioners), Oisin II (for law enforcement authorities), Stop II (combating trade in human beings and the sexual exploitation of children), Hippocrates (prevention of crime) and Falcone (combating organised crime). All are due to expire on 31 December 2002.

  14.2  The previous Committee cleared proposals to set up Hippocrates[42] and to extend Grotius, Oisin and Stop[43]. In both cases, the possibility of the eventual combination of the programmes was flagged.

The document

  14.3  The draft Decision proposes to replace the existing programmes with a single five-year framework programme designed to support projects in the fields of judicial co-operation in criminal matters; co-operation between law enforcement agencies; and co-operation between these agencies and other public or private organisations in the prevention and fight against crime. In its Explanatory Memorandum, the Commission points out that the programme will draw on a new budget heading, set up for the purpose of combating drug trafficking. In addition, its objectives will extend beyond those of the current programmes to include assistance to victims of crime.

  14.4  The Commission considers that the establishment of a single framework programme will allow it to develop broader programmes and to make better use of existing resources.

  14.5  An external evaluation of some of the existing programmes was favourable, but recommended an emphasis on exchanges and training methodologies (rather than on seminars and conferences), better preparation of projects and broader dissemination of the results. These findings have been taken into account in developing the new programme.

  14.6  The new proposal (like the existing ones) will provide for either the co-financing of projects with Member States (with up to 70% EU funding) or 100% EU funding of specific initiatives. It will commit 65 million euros over the period from 1 January 2003 to 31 December 2007 (an increase of approximately 10% over the averaged-out funding of the existing programmes).

  14.7  The procedures for agreeing the annual work programme and the 100%-funded specific projects will be the same as those for the second phase of the existing programmes. The Commission will provide an interim evaluation of the programme by 30 June 2005, a communication on its continuation by 30 September 2006, and a final evaluation by 30 June 2008.

The Government's view

  14.8  The Government considers that the proposal should cite Article 30 (1) as well as Articles 31 and 34 (2)(c), given that it provides for police as well as judicial co-operation.

  14.9  In relation to the extension of Grotius, Oisin and Stop[44], the Government expressed its support for a single programme covering the whole of the police and criminal part of the Tampere agenda. In his Explanatory Memorandum on this proposal, the Parliamentary Under- Secretary of State at the Home Office (Mr Bob Ainsworth ) comments that the new emphasis on structural projects is likely to offer better value for money than many of the conferences and seminars supported by the existing programmes.

Conclusion

  14.10  We agree with the Government that Article 30(1) EU should be added to the legal base. In general, however, this seems to us a sensible proposal which usefully takes account of the evaluation of the existing programmes, and which has the potential to be more efficient and more flexible.

  14.11  We clear the document.



15. We consider that the following documents do not raise questions of sufficient legal or political importance to warrant a substantive report to the House :-

DEPARTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS

(22953)

14270/01

COM(01) 615


Commission Communication on environmental co-operation in the Danube — Black Sea region.

(23014)

14521/01

COM(01) 684


Draft Regulation fixing the premiums and guarantee thresholds for leaf tobacco by variety group and Member State for the 2002, 2003 and 2004 harvests amending Regulation (EEC) No. 2075/92.

(23043)

14127/01

COM(01) 699


Draft Regulation establishing measures to be applicable in 2002 for the recovery of the stock of cod in the Irish Sea (ICES Division VIIa).

(23063)

14262/01

COM(01) 644


Draft Regulation adopting autonomous measures concerning the importation of fish and fishery products originating in the Republic of Cyprus.


FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE

(23062)

5048/02


Council Common Position concerning a prohibition on imports of rough diamonds from Sierra Leone.


  DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

(23020)

14312/01

COM(01) 692


Amended Draft Directive setting standards of quality and safety for the collection, testing, processing, storage and distribution of human blood and blood components and amending Council Directive 89/381/EEC.


HOME OFFICE

(22892)

13554/01

COM(01) 628


Biannual update of the scoreboard to review progress on the creation of an area of Freedom, Security and Justice in the European Union (second half of 2001).


  DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

(22869)

13823/01


Report of the European Investment Bank, in compliance with Article 33(5) of the Internal Agreement on the Financing and Administration of Community Aid, regarding operations financed from the Eighth European Development Fund and administered by the Bank in accordance with Article 10(2) of the Internal Agreement — Situation at 31 December 2000 (Lomé IV — 2nd Protocol).

(22995)

13821/01


Report of the European Investment Bank, in compliance with Article 33(5) of the Internal Agreement on the Financing and Administration of Community Aid, regarding operations financed from the Seventh European Development Fund and administered by the Bank in accordance with Article 10(2) of the Internal Agreement — Situation at 31 December 2000 (Lomé IV — 1st Protocol).


  DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY

(22993)

14590/01

SEC(01) 1900


Commission staff working paper — Benchmarking enterprise policy: Results from the 2001 Scoreboard.

(23017)

14650/01

COM(01) 702


Commission Communication: effective problem-solving in the internal market ("SOLVIT").

(23024)

14748/01

COM(01) 711


Commission Communication on the impact of the e-Economy on European enterprises: economic analysis and policy implications.

(23039)

15144/01

COM(01) 722


Draft Regulation amending Regulation (EC) No. 2820/98 applying a multi-annual scheme of generalised tariff preferences for the period 1 July 1999 to 31 December 2001 so as to include Senegal in the list of countries enjoying the special support arrangement for the least developed countries.

(23088)


Draft Regulation (EC) extending a double-checking system without quantitative limits in respect of the export of certain steel products covered by the EC and ECSC Treaties from the Republic of Kazakhstan to the European Communities.

(23089)


Draft Regulation (EC) extending a double-checking system without quantitative limits in respect of the export of certain steel products covered by the EC and ECSC Treaties from the Russian Federation to the European Communities.

(23090)


Draft Regulation (EC) extending a double-checking system without quantitative limits in respect of the export of certain steel products covered by the EC and ECSC Treaties from the Ukraine to the European Communities.

(23093)


Draft Council Resolution concerning a common approach and specific actions in the area of Network and Information Security.


  DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT, LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND THE REGIONS

    

(22955)

14376/01

COM(01) 674


Draft Decision authorising the Member States to ratify in the interest of the European Community the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea, 1996 (the HNS Convention).


  HM TREASURY

(22536)

10495/01

+ ADD 1

COM(01) 355


Commission Communication: Public finances in EMU — 2001.


  DEPARTMENT FOR WORK AND PENSIONS

(23025)

14763/01

COM(01) 721


Amended Draft Decision on the European Year of People with Disabilities 2003.

(23031)

14886/01

COM(01) 730


Draft decision on Community incentive measures in the field of employment — Commission Opinion pursuant to Article 251(2)(c) of the EC Treaty on the European Parliament's amendments to the Council's common position.



42  (21903) 14245/00; see headnote to this paragraph. Back

43  (21988) 14740/00; see headnote to this paragraph. Back

44  Ibid. Back


 
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