Justice Ministers in discussions on police cooperation2009/07/16
Starting yesterday, Justice and Home Affairs Ministers gather in Stockholm for a three-day meeting hosted by my colleagues Beatrice Ask and Tobias Billström.
The main topic of discussion is the Stockholm programme – a new strategic work programme for issues related to cooperation between law enforcement authorities, civil law cooperation, asylum and migration. The programme, which is a follow-up to the 2004 Hague Programme, will be formally adopted at the December European Council.
Europe must be given better tools to tackle cross-border crime. To do this, we need to strengthen information exchange and increase confidence between our national law enforcement authorities. For the Swedish Presidency, it is also a priority to create a better balance between repressive measures and reforms safeguarding the rights of the individual.
Next to cooperation in fighting cross-border crime, the Stockholm programme will include issues related to asylum and migration. The Swedish Presidency will prioritise the work to establish a common asylum system, ensuring that EU asylum rules are applied in the same way in all Member States. Facing an ageing population that will soon result in a shortage of labour throughout the Union, the Presidency also wants to include measures to open up the Union for labour migration.