Annex: Terms of Reference of the inquiry
as agreed by the Committee on 31 October 2006|
The Committee decided that its inquiry should focus
on the following specific matters:
The current state of progress in developing practical
co-operation between member states in the JHA field, and future
options in this area.
benefits have accrued so far from practical co-operation between
law enforcement and judicial authorities? What are the lessons
of practical co-operation for European policy and legislation,
and how effective is Eurojust in spreading best practice?
In which areas does the UK government
want to advance more practical co-operation measures? What benefits
does the government see from practical co-operation over legislative
What should be the role of Europol, Interpol
and Eurojust in facilitating practical co-operation?
The current state of progress in mutual recognition,
including the development of minimum standards, across the
EU, and whether further steps in this direction are desirable.
which areas is mutual recognition currently employed (for example
recognition of judicial judgements in other member states)?
How has the principle, including minimum
standards and protocols, worked in these areas? Is it an effective
approach, including in terms of cost?
What are the limitations of mutual recognition
as a cornerstone of co-operation, for example in cases such as
the European Arrest Warrant where there are controversies over
dual criminality? What have been the successes, and how might
these be built on?
What is the UK government's position
on mutual recognition as opposed to practical co-operation?
The current state of progress in and appetite for
harmonising criminal justice systems across the EU, and
whether further steps in this direction are desirable.
do proposals for harmonisation of criminal law across member states
substantially differ from mutual recognition?
What are the implications for the UK
in harmonising criminal law and systems?
Would particular areas benefit from harmonisation
on issues such as migration, serious crime cases and terrorism,
rather than practical co-operation or mutual recognition?
The process of decision-making on JHA issues
at EU level: in particular, the extent to which current difficulties
in reaching agreement derive from 'third pillar' voting procedure
and might be remedied by implementation of the passerelle clauses
in previous treaties.
implications might use of the passerelle have for the UK's legal
and judicial systems? What alternative action might improve decision-making?
How can transparency and accountability at European level best
How significant is the recent trend towards internal
agreements between groups of member states outside the framework
of the EU, for instance the Schengen countries, or the Prum convention?
To what extent is this due to unanimity or difficulties in decision
making? What are the implications for the UK and for EU fragmentation?
What are the current developments in the area of
common border controls and visa arrangements? What implications
does the proposed new policy on illegal migration have for the
UK and our role in the EU? Will the proposed changes to the short-stay
visa arrangements in relation to the eastern neighbours of the
EU open up new channels for illegal migration further westward
in the EU? What are the implications of enlargement for JHA issues,
including the impact of labour migration and confidence in new
member states' justice systems?