1995 REPORT RECOMMENDATION
Justice and Home Affairs
...We do not believe that to introduce
majority voting would be beneficial.(277)
...Although we have noted from
the Progress Report of the Chairman of the Reflection Group on
the IGC that "a large majority" of the Group feel it
necessary to bring the provisions of the third pillar at least
partially into the Community sphere, we do not share their view.(278)
...We therefore endorse the amendment
proposed by JUSTICE, described in paragraph 194 above, which would
preclude Council decision on a third pillar instrument unless
the national parliament of each Member State had been offered,
in accordance with the procedures applicable in each Member State,
an opportunity to express its views. We would not however support
the amendment suggested by JUSTICE, which would require third
pillar instruments to be adopted by co-decision between the Council
and the European Parliament, since we do not believe that this
would be compatible with the essentially inter-governmental character
of the Justice and Home Affairs pillar.(280)OUTCOME OF THE TREATY
Justice and Home Affairs
The existing Justice and Home
Affairs Pillar has been divided into two parts. One part becomes
a new Title III-A in the EC Treaty, and therefore becomes an area
of Community competence. The other part remains inter-governmental.
The new Title III-A is devoted
to free movement of persons, asylum and immigration, and obliges
the Council within five years from the entry into force of the
new Treaty, to adopt measures to abolish "any controls on
persons, be they citizens of the Union or nationals of third countries,
when crossing internal borders." However, this is modified
by protocols safeguarding the positions of the United Kingdom
and Ireland which establish that the United Kingdom is entitled
to exercise frontier controls
(Protocol X) and allowing the United Kingdom and Ireland to opt-in
to work under the new Title III-A (Protocol Y). The Council is
given five years to agree measures to harmonize the control regime
applying at the external borders of the Union and to adopt new
measures on asylum.
The voting rules for the above
measures are complicated. During the period of five years in
which the Council is obliged to act, it shall do so unanimously.
Either the Commission or a Member State shall have the right
of initiative during this period. After the period of five years
has elapsed, the Commission will have the sole right of initiative.
The Council will also then take a decision as to whether to adopt
the co-decision procedure, with the use of QMV at certain stages,
for any outstanding decisions.
The remaining parts of the Justice
and Home Affairs Pillar will form a separate Pillar which will
be entitled "Provisions on Police and Judicial Co-operation
in Criminal Matters". This Pillar will remain inter-governmental.
Decisions all remain subject to unanimity although limited provision
is made for qualified majority voting for "any other purpose
consistent with the objectives of this Title, excluding any approximation
of the laws and regulations of the Member States". The Treaty
will introduce new legislative instruments and provide for consultation
with the European Parliament under the Third Pillar.
The protocol on national parliaments
(see page 43) requires that an interval of six weeks shall elapse
between a proposal for a measure to be adopted under Title VI
of the Treaty being made available by the Commission and
the date when it is placed on a Council agenda for decision.
This period will allow national parliaments time to scrutinise
12 There is also a protocol dealing with the position of Denmark. Back
13 Some measures on asylum, in particular (a) burden sharing with regard to the consequences to receiving refugees and displaced persons, (b) conditions of entry and residence of immigrants, and (c) measures defining the rights of movement and residence of nationals of third countries who are legally resident in a Member State are not subject to the five year timetable. Back