Manual The Area of Freedom, Security and Justice in the Enlarged Europe

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Part One: The CEE interconnecting judicial entities
  1. Justice, freedom and security - EUR-Lex
  2. Objectives
  3. Europe's Area of Freedom, Security, and Justice
  4. The changing dynamics of security in an enlarged European Union

If, as some wished, the EU acquired deeper powers in the monetary and social fields would, for example, Hungarians accept inappropriate interest rates because France or another country needed them.

28-I-2019. Transforming the European Union into an Area of Freedom, Security and Justice

Would cohesion funds continue? Changes to agriculture policy could change the equation. But these were, at the moment, inadequately coordinated and their deployment was often slow and clumsy, notwithstanding recent improvements over the disbursement of EU aid in Kosovo by Commissioner Patten.

Justice, freedom and security - EUR-Lex

There was, for example, no unified view on the future of Kosovo. It was pointed out that after enlargement a new range of potential problems such as Ukraine, Kaliningrad or Moldova might need to be dealt with by the EU. Member states had set themselves the task of creating a rapid reaction force. This would be a more robust capability than anything they currently possessed. But it could not be excluded that they might fail in their aim. It required a serious commitment of resources and whether this would be forthcoming in some countries, including importantly Germany, was still undecided.

And even when we had created the capability, EU leaders would have to demonstrate the will to use it. On the other hand, if the capability existed, it would, we thought, be harder for the EU to stand aside in future crises on the grounds that they were unable to act. What the US hoped for were less pillars and more effective partners. The final area we looked at was the desire to develop the EU into an area of Freedom, Security and Justice.


We thought this lay close to the interests of individual EU citizens, who, one participant claimed, intuitively understood the need for EU-wide cooperation to tackle international criminals and secure freedom of travel etc. Although this might appear to be technical and legal it was, above all, argued a participant, a political issue.

In acknowledging the differing traditions and independence of police forces in our various countries we thought that the EU provided the framework for wider cooperation and, because of shared interests in other areas, gave the participants the confidence for operational cooperation in smaller groups.

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But for such cooperation to widen, we needed to make progress on questions of civil and penal law such as recognition of warrants, extradition, divorce, etc. The EU candidate countries were thought to have a potential advantage in that they had an opportunity to develop a single system for their domestic and EU laws in a number of areas such as asylum.

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Some thought that the clear vision set out at the Tampere EU summit had not been fulfilled. There needed to be a reinforcement of our aims at the Laeken summit at the end of the current Belgian Presidency.

Europe's Area of Freedom, Security, and Justice

We thought about the effects of enlargement on Justice and Home Affairs and considered that the present prescriptive method of decision making would probably be impractical. It would be more sensible to try to identify those areas where it would be essential to have common standards and then, where practical, cooperation in small groups might be appropriate. What incentives might we create to facilitate cooperation?

A comment from the US point of view, based on an investment of US resources in a central European country to facilitate action against illegal immigration, indicated that the influence the EU was able to exert over the candidate countries on its borders was indeed much greater than that exercised by non-EU actors, including the USA. At the end of these detailed reviews we returned to the broader picture and in our final discussions, mirrored, to some extent, the three constants in most EU debates about its future direction and development — vision, law and money.

For example, in a globalised world only the EU would have the capacity to preserve essential values and influence global issues such as trade and the environment. While agreeing with this, we were asked by a participant to bear in mind that the EU was not responsible for everything. The EU should be engaged where policies or issues had effects outside a single member state, where the economies of scale were decisive, and where redistribution of resources as an expression of solidarity, were necessary. A plea was made for a constitution — a question discussed elsewhere in the conference.

Some control over the growing power of the EU was necessary. The citizen had to feel secure in his or her rights.

The changing dynamics of security in an enlarged European Union

To this was added the thought that the EU probably did not require significant additional powers. What it should aim for should be a system which was comprehensible, accountable and affordable. This raised the inevitable question of finance. It was suggested that reform of the CAP should be the top priority.

If that was achieved then the transitional period of enlargement could probably be managed. But what might happen thereafter would probably be more expensive. In addition to any internal transfers of resources in an enlarged EU we had identified a number of other areas where we envisaged the EU being active.

These ranged from trade concessions to Russia, assistance in South Eastern Europe and to our neighbours in the Middle East, the creation of a rapid reaction force and a civilian crisis capability, etc. Were we really prepared to foot the bill? The question was left hanging, possibly for a further Ditchley conference. I would like to end by thanking once again the Bertelsmann Foundation, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and also those participants from the candidate countries whose contributions ensured that our discussions were enriched and enlivened by the perspectives of those whose strong wish it is to become members of the EU, but who can nonetheless view it with fresh eyes.

No participant is in any way committed to its content or expression. Would you like to keep them? Accept Refuse. Skip to main content. This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website. EU case-law Case-law Digital reports Directory of case-law. Quick search. Need more search options?