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newsIrish Presidency delivers agreements aimed at strengthening EU’s external borders and internal border security

In a successful day of negotiations with the European Parliament, the Irish Presidency has reached agreement on a number of justice and home affairs measures in the areas of Schengen Governance and border security.

Schengen Governance

The Irish Presidency (29 May 2013) reached a provisional agreement with the European Parliament on the Schengen Governance Package, which comprises the following measures:

  •          A proposed Regulation amending the Schengen Borders Code in order to provide for common rules on the temporary reintroduction of internal border controls in exceptional circumstances; and
  •        A proposed Regulation for an evaluation and monitoring mechanism to verify the application of the Schengen acquis.

While not participating in the Schengen area, Ireland, as Presidency of the Council, led the negotiations on behalf of Member States.

    Minister Shatter - "This will enhance the security and stability of the Schengen border-free arrangements for the benefit of the many millions of citizens who avail of them each year."

Welcoming the agreement, Ireland’s Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter, said:

 “I am delighted at the successful conclusion of discussions with the European Parliament on the Schengen Governance Package.  The measures agreed will ensure consistency and proportionality in decisions on the temporary reintroduction of internal border controls in exceptional circumstances and will create a more robust and rigorous system to oversee the implementation of the Schengen agreement.  This will enhance the security and stability of the Schengen border-free arrangements for the benefit of the many millions of citizens who avail of them each year.”

Eurosur

Also provisionally agreed this evening was a proposed Regulation to establish a European Border Surveillance System known as EUROSUR.  EUROSUR will establish a mechanism for Member States' border surveillance authorities to share operational information and to cooperate with each other to reduce the number of irregular immigrants entering the EU undetected. The system will also assist in the prevention of cross-border crimes, such as trafficking in human beings and the smuggling of drugs, increasing the internal security of the Union.  It will have the additional effect of reducing the loss of migrants' lives at sea.

European Parliament

These agreements are a mark of the successful relationship that has developed between the Irish Presidency and the European Parliament.  In the justice and home affairs area, the Irish Presidency team has engaged intensively with the European Parliament up to the highest level. Ireland’s Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter, has personally addressed MEPs in relation to each of the files agreed today in the course of his numerous engagements with Parliamentary committees, groups and individual members.

The successful negotiations concluded with Parliament today add to earlier successes on the Common European Asylum System, the European Protection Order and yesterday’s agreement on the right of access to a lawyer.

    Minister Shatter - “The Irish Presidency will continue to engage constructively with our partners in the Parliament and I am confident that we can deliver further successes in the final weeks of our Presidency.”

Separately, the agreement on the Schengen Governance measures will enable renewed progress on several files on which negotiations had been suspended since last year.

Minister Shatter will brief the Justice and Home Affairs Council when it meets in Luxembourg next week, on the outcomes of these trilogue agreements with the Parliament and on the status of ongoing negotiations across a range of other issues.

Minister Shatter said, “The Irish Presidency will continue to engage constructively with our partners in the Parliament and I am confident that we can deliver further successes in the final weeks of our Presidency.”

The provisional agreements reached today now require the formal approval of Member States and the European Parliament.