The Proposed Constitution for Europe

Part III, Title III, Chapter III| Contents | Part III, Title III, Chapter V

TITLE III: INTERNAL POLICIES AND ACTION

Chapter IV: Area of freedom, security and justice

Section 1: General provisions

Article III-158

  1. The Union shall constitute an area of freedom, security and justice with respect for fundamental rights, taking into account the different legal traditions and systems of the Member States.

  2. It shall ensure the absence of internal border controls for persons and shall frame a common policy on asylum, immigration and external border control, based on solidarity between Member States, which is fair towards third country nationals. For the purpose of this chapter, stateless persons shall be treated as third country nationals.

  3. The Union shall endeavour to ensure a high level of security by measures to prevent and combat crime, racism and xenophobia, and measures for coordination and cooperation between police and judicial authorities and other competent authorities, as well as by the mutual recognition of judgments in criminal matters and, if necessary, the approximation of criminal laws.

  4. The Union shall facilitate access to justice, in particular by the principle of mutual recognition of judicial and extrajudicial decisions in civil matters.

Article III-159

The European Council shall define the strategic guidelines for legislative and operational planning within the area of freedom, security and justice.

Article III-160

  1. Member States' national Parliaments shall ensure that the proposals and legislative initiatives submitted under Sections 4 and 5 of this Chapter comply with the principle of subsidiarity, in accordance with the arrangements in the Protocol on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.

    Member States' national Parliaments may participate in the evaluation mechanisms contained in Article III-161 and in the political monitoring of Europol and the evaluation of Eurojust's activities in accordance with Articles III-177 and III-174.

Article III-161

Without prejudice to Articles III-265 to III-267, the Council of Ministers may, on a proposal from the Commission, adopt European regulations or decisions laying down the arrangements whereby Member States, in collaboration with the Commission, conduct objective and impartial evaluation of the implementation of the Union policies referred to in this Chapter by Member States' authorities, in particular in order to facilitate full application of the principle of mutual recognition. The European Parliament and Member States' national Parliaments shall be informed of the content and results of the evaluation.

Article III-162

A standing committee shall be set up within the Council of Ministers in order to ensure that operational cooperation on internal security is promoted and strengthened within the Union. Without prejudice to Article III-247, it shall facilitate coordination of the action of Member States' competent authorities. Representatives of the Union bodies and agencies concerned may be involved in the proceedings of this committee. The European Parliament and Member States' national parliaments shall be kept informed of the proceedings.

Article III-163

This Chapter shall not affect the exercise of the responsibilities incumbent upon Member States with regard to maintaining law and order and safeguarding internal security.

Article III-164

The Council of Ministers shall adopt European regulations to ensure administrative cooperation between the relevant departments of the Member States in the areas covered by this Chapter, as well as between those departments and the Commission. It shall act on a Commission proposal, without prejudice to Article III-165, and after consulting the European Parliament.

Article III-165

The acts referred to in Sections 4 and 5 of this Chapter shall be adopted:

(a) on a proposal from the Commission, or

(b) on the initiative of a quarter of the Member States.

Section 2: Policies on border checks, asylum and immigration

Article III-166

  1. The Union shall develop a policy with a view to:

    (a) ensuring the absence of any controls on persons, whatever their nationality, when crossing internal borders;

    (b) carrying out checks on persons and efficient monitoring of the crossing of external borders;

    (c) the gradual introduction of an integrated management system for external borders.

  2. For this purpose, European laws or framework laws shall establish measures concerning:

    (a) the common policy on visas and other short-stay residence permits;

    (b) the controls to which persons crossing external borders are subject;

    (c) the conditions under which nationals of third countries shall have the freedom to travel within the Union for a short period;

    (d) any measure necessary for the gradual establishment of an integrated management system for external borders;

    (e) the absence of any controls on persons, whatever their nationality, when crossing internal borders.

  3. This Article shall not affect the competence of the Member States concerning the geographical demarcation of their borders, in accordance with international law.

Article III-167

  1. The Union shall develop a common policy on asylum and temporary protection with a view to offering appropriate status to any third-country national requiring international protection and ensuring compliance with the principle of non-refoulement. This policy must be in accordance with the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951 and the Protocol of 31 January 1967 relating to the status of refugees and other relevant treaties.

  2. For this purpose, European laws or framework laws shall lay down measures for a common European asylum system comprising:

    (a) a uniform status of asylum for nationals of third countries, valid throughout the Union;

    (b) a uniform status of subsidiary protection for nationals of third countries who, without obtaining European asylum, are in need of international protection;

    (c) a common system of temporary protection for displaced persons in the event of a massive inflow;

    (d) common procedures for the granting and withdrawing of uniform asylum or subsidiary protection status;

    (e) criteria and mechanisms for determining which Member State is responsible for considering an application for asylum or subsidiary protection;

    (f) standards concerning the conditions for the reception of applicants for asylum or subsidiary protection;

    (g) partnership and cooperation with third countries for the purpose of managing inflows of people applying for asylum or subsidiary or temporary protection.

  3. In the event of one or more Member States being confronted by an emergency situation characterised by a sudden inflow of nationals of third countries, the Council of Ministers, on a proposal from the Commission, may adopt European regulations or decisions comprising provisional measures for the benefit of the Member State(s) concerned. It shall act after consulting the European Parliament.

Article III-168

  1. The Union shall develop a common immigration policy aimed at ensuring, at all stages, the efficient management of migration flows, fair treatment of third country nationals residing legally in Member States, and the prevention of, and enhanced measures to combat, illegal immigration and trafficking in human beings.

  2. To this end, European laws or framework laws shall establish measures in the following areas:

    (a) the conditions of entry and residence, and standards on the issue by Member States of long term visas and residence permits, including those for the purpose of family reunion;

    (b) the definition of the rights of third country nationals residing legally in a Member State, including the conditions governing freedom of movement and of residence in other Member States;

    (c) illegal immigration and unauthorised residence, including removal and repatriation of persons residing without authorisation;

    (d) combating trafficking in persons, in particular women and children.

  3. The Union may conclude readmission agreements with third countries for the readmission of third-country nationals residing without authorisation to their countries of origin or provenance, in accordance with Article III-227.

  4. European laws or framework laws may establish measures to provide incentives and support for the action of Member States with a view to promoting the integration of third-country nationals residing legally in their territories, excluding any harmonisation of the laws and regulations of the Member States.

  5. This Article shall not affect the right of Member States to determine volumes of admission of third country nationals coming from third countries to their territory in order to seek work, whether employed or self employed.

Article III-169

The policies of the Union set out in this Section and their implementation shall be governed by the principle of solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility, including its financial implications, between the Member States. Whenever necessary, the acts of the Union adopted pursuant to this Section shall contain appropriate measures to give effect to this principle.

Section 3: Judicial cooperation in civil matters

Article III-170

  1. The Union shall develop judicial cooperation in civil matters having cross border implications, based on the principle of mutual recognition of judgments and decisions in extrajudicial cases. Such cooperation may include the adoption of measures for the approximation of the laws and regulations of the Member States.

  2. To this end, laws or framework laws shall lay down measures aimed inter alia at ensuring:

    a) the mutual recognition and enforcement between Member States of judgments and decisions in extrajudicial cases;

    b) the cross border service of judicial and extrajudicial documents;

    c) the compatibility of the rules applicable in the Member States concerning conflict of laws and of jurisdiction;

    d) cooperation in the taking of evidence;

    e) a high level of access to justice;

    f) the proper functioning of civil proceedings, if necessary by promoting the compatibility of the rules on civil procedure applicable in the Member States;

    g) the development of alternative methods of dispute settlement;

    h) support for the training of the judiciary and judicial staff.

  3. Notwithstanding paragraph 2, measures concerning family law with cross border implications shall be laid down in a European law or framework law of the Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers shall act unanimously after consulting the European Parliament.

    The Council of Ministers, on a proposal from the Commission, may adopt a European decision determining those aspects of family law with cross-border implications which may be the subject of acts adopted by the ordinary legislative procedure. The Council of Ministers shall act unanimously after consulting the European Parliament.

Section 5: Police cooperation

Article III-176

  1. The Union shall establish police cooperation involving all the Member States' competent authorities, including police, customs and other specialised law enforcement services in relation to the prevention, detection and investigation of criminal offences.

  2. To this end, European laws or framework laws may establish measures concerning:

    a) the collection, storage, processing, analysis and exchange of relevant information;

    b) support for the training of staff, and cooperation on the exchange of staff, on equipment and on research into crime-detection;

    c) common investigative techniques in relation to the detection of serious forms of organised crime.

  3. A European law or framework law of the Council of Ministers may establish measures concerning operational cooperation between the authorities referred to in this Article. The Council of Ministers shall act unanimously after consulting the European Parliament.

Article III-177

  1. Europol's mission is to support and strengthen action by the Member States' police authorities and other law enforcement services and their mutual cooperation in preventing and combating serious crime affecting two or more Member States, terrorism and forms of crime which affect a common interest covered by a Union policy.

  2. European laws shall determine Europol's structure, operation, field of action and tasks. These tasks may include:

    a) the collection, storage, processing, analysis and exchange of information forwarded particularly by the authorities of the Member States or third countries or bodies;

    b) the coordination, organisation and implementation of investigative and operational action carried out jointly with the Member States' competent authorities or in the context of joint investigative teams, where appropriate in liaison with Eurojust.

    European laws shall also lay down the procedures for scrutiny of Europol's activities by the European Parliament, together with Member States' national parliaments.

  3. Any operational action by Europol must be carried out in liaison and in agreement with the authorities of the Member States whose territory is concerned. The application of coercive measures shall be the exclusive responsibility of the competent national authorities.

Article III-178

A European law or framework law of the Council of Ministers shall lay down the conditions and limitations under which the competent authorities of the Member States referred to in Articles III-171 and III-176 may operate in the territory of another Member State in liaison and in agreement with the authorities of that State. The Council of Ministers shall act unanimously after consulting the European Parliament.

Part III, Title III, Chapter III| Contents | Part III, Title III, Chapter V

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