Select Committee on European Scrutiny Eighteenth Report




Draft initiative by the Federal Republic of Germany for the adoption of a Council Decision on Member States' obligation to transmit information on illegal immigration and facilitator networks pursuant to an early warning system.

Legal base:Articles 66 and 67(1) EC; consultation; unanimity
Department:Home Office
Basis of consideration:Minister's letter of 30 January 2002
Previous Committee Report:HC 152-i (2001-02), paragraph 4 (18 July 2001)
To be discussed in Council:Not applicable
Committee's assessment:Legally and politically important
Committee's decision:Cleared


  9.1  This proposal aims to improve an existing early warning system by making the exchange of information on illegal immigration and facilitator networks compulsory.

  9.2  When we last considered the proposal, in July, we noted that it was still at an early stage, and decided to keep the document under scrutiny until we knew more about how successful the Government had been on two negotiating points.

The Minister's letter

  9.3  The Minister has now written to tell us that the proposal is not being proceeded with. The decision was taken before detailed negotiations began, and there was therefore no opportunity for the UK to raise any particular issues.

  9.4  The Minister continues:

"As you will no doubt be aware however the Commission has recently presented a Communication on a Common Policy for Illegal Immigration[53]. One of the proposals in this Communication is to send early warnings by email rather than fax and to develop the EWS [Early Warning System] into a secure intranet site ... I am able to advise you that the UK fully supports the initiative to develop the EWS in such a way."


  9.5  We thank the Minister for informing us that this proposal is not being proceeded with, and for alerting us to possible new developments of the Early Warning System. We clear the document.

53   (22998) 14239/01; see paragraph 11 of this report. Back

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Prepared 15 February 2002