The protracted debate on enhancing the area of freedom, security and justice generated an ambiguous consensus among Convention members. Admittedly, all agreed on the urgent nature of EU responses, with several delegates quoting the conclusions of the Tampere European Council in October 1999, in particular the principle of mutual recognition of judicial decisions. However a large majority insisted on the freedom facet of this policy as a counterpart of the security facet, many stressing the importance of including the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the Treaty. A majority of members called for fresh impetus to be given to the European police office Europol, though fewer supported the notion of Eurojust evolving to become a European public prosecutor, and even fewer defended an enhanced role for the EU's anti-fraud office OLAF in the context of the protection of the EU's financial interests. However delegates, notably the Member States' representatives, many of whom spoke at the session, were above all divided on the institutional method to be used to lead to further progress on Justice and Home Affairs.Some, like the Belgian Government's representative Louis Michel, called unambiguously for "greater voluntarism" leading to the removal of the 3rd pillar, complete communitisation of Heading IV (asylum, immigration, visas), and progress in this same direction on Heading VI (judicial and police co-operation), which is currently largely inter-governmental, as well as full jurisdictional responsibility for the European Court of Justice. Hans van Mierlo, the Dutch Government's representative, emphasised the need to address the question of communitisation in this area. He insisted that "citizens do not want pillars but results", adding "if the structure of the Treaty prevents results then it must be modified". Jacques Santer, the Luxembourg Government's representative, defended the same standpoint. Carefully weighing his words, Commissioner Antonio Vitorino predictably took up the position outlined on this issue by the Commission in its recent Communication on the EU's missions (see European Report 2686 for further details). UK Liberal MEP Andrew Duff called for the withdrawal of all derogations. The German delegation agreed with the general thrust of this line, though its position was somewhat confused. The representative from Germany's lower house, the Bundestag, backed the notion of communitisation, as initially did his colleague from the...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT