DRAFT COUNCIL DECISION|
Explanatory Memorandum on the Draft Decision
of the Council on the request by the United Kingdom to take part
in some of the provisions of the Schengen acquis (Document No
11177/99 SCHENGEN 74)
Submitted by the Home Office on 7 October
1. This Explanatory Memorandum relates to
the first draft of the Decision by the Council to authorise the
UK's application to participate in those areas of the Schengen
acquis which relate to law enforcement and criminal judicial co-operation,
including the Schengen Information System (SIS), in accordance
with Article 4 of the Schengen Protocol.
2. The Home Secretary has overall responsibility
for the policy arising from this document.
(i) Legal basis
3. The UK's application to participate in
the Schengen acquis is provided for by Article 4 of the Protocol
integrating the Schengen acquis into the framework of the European
Union, annexed to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty
establishing the European Communities.
(ii) European Parliament
4. There is no formal European Parliamentary
procedure provided for in the Schengen Protocol. The UK fully
supports initiatives by the EU Presidency of the day to supply
the European Parliament with full documentation on the Schengen
(iii) Voting Procedure
5. Article 4 of the Schengen Protocol provides
that any application by the UK to participate in the provisions
of the Schengen acquis shall be decided unanimously in the Council
by the 13 Schengen states and the UK.
6. The UK's participation in the provisions
of the Schengen acquis will require legislation in a number of
areas. This was considered in the Explanatory Memorandum on the
UK's application to participate (Council Doc no 8562/99).
7. Norway and Iceland have been informed
of the UK's application and of progress on it in the context of
the association agreements made in accordance with Article 6 of
the Schengen Protocol. The Government of Gibraltar has been consulted
in relation to the territorial application of UK participation
in the Schengen acquis.
8. While the policy implications of the
draft Decision remain very much as reflected in the Explanatory
Memorandum on the UK's application to participate in the Schengen
acquis, certain developments which have arisen from discussions
in the Council working group are reflected in the draft. In particular,
all references to Article 41 (provisions on hot pursuit) are now
provisional, as it has been concluded that the UK could apply
these provisions only in relation to the border with the Republic
of Ireland, which has yet to lodge an application to participate
in the Schengen acquis and which need not necessarily be made
in identical terms.
9. Certain Articles of the Schengen Implementing
Convention and Decisions and Declarations of the Schengen Implementing
Convention which were included in the original application are
not listed in the draft Decision because they have not been given
a legal basefor instance Articles 70 (working group on
drugs) and Decisions Ex-Com (93) 16 and (95) 6,7,8 & 9, all
of which relate to the SIS and are now considered obsolete. The
inclusion of Articles of the Accession Agreements signed by other
Schengen states reflects the need to recognise obligations between
the UK and these states, which were created subsequent to the
original Schengen Implementing Convention.
10. As is clear from Article 6 of the draft
Decision, the territorial application of the UK's application
to participate in parts of the Schengen Convention is still subject
11. Article 7 provides for the structure
for implementation of the Schengen acquis in the UK. This (first)
Council Decision will confirm acceptance of the UK's application;
preparation for their implementation will then be followed by
a second Decision which will authorise the UK to put them into
12. Financial implications will arise mainly
in relation to UK participation in the SIS. Article 8 of the draft
Decision recognises that the precise extent of the UK's financial
commitment will need to reflect the extent to which it participates
in the System. The implications of the UK's application to participate
in areas of the Schengen acquis are considered in detail in the
Explanatory Memorandum on the UK's application to participate
(Council Doc no 8562/99).
13. Discussions on the draft Decision will
continue within the Council framework. There is no fixed deadline.
33 This Explanatory Memorandum concerns the first
draft Council Decision which has been superseded by revised versions.
Only the latest draft version is reproduced. Back