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Following the traditional speech by the President of the European Parliament, Pat Cox, who is expected to emphasise his Institution's desire for a greater role in the legislative process (see European Report 2692 for further details), the first working session on June 21 should focus on combating illegal immigration. Whereas the conclusions of the Justice/Home Affairs Council on this dossier are consensual and should be endorsed by Heads of State and Government (see European Report 2692, Section IV for further details), external aspects of the dossier remain controversial within the General Affairs Council (see separate article in Section IV). Spain's Foreign Minister Josep Pique insists "it is not because countries are poor that certain behaviour can be tolerated; non compliance with co-operation clauses in the fight against illegal immigration must be punished". He claims the disagreement within the GAC is down to "semantics". The European Commission President has lent cautious support though not without recalling that "combating illegal immigration doesn't mean losing sight of other aspects of the dossier, notably the integration of legal immigrants, who represent a source of vitality in an ageing Europe". He has announced that the Commission proposes shortly to bring forward proposals on the management of migratory flows.Discussions during the Heads of State and Governments' working lunch will focus on the issue of Council reform (see separate article in this Section). This debate will provide President Prodi with an opportunity to outline his own ideas on reform of the European Commission in anticipation of enlargement (see separate article in this Section). President Valery Giscard d'Estaing will present a first report on the work of the European Convention the following morning. Ireland's Prime Minister, Bertie Ahern, will outline to his colleagues proposals for a fresh referendum in the autumn in the Nice Treaty. The Council is also expected to agree a Declaration which will seek to reassure Ireland that its traditional military neutrality will not be compromised by efforts to give the EU an independent crisis management capability in the form of the planned Rapid...

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