UK REQUEST TO TAKE PART IN SOME OF THE PROVISIONS
OF THE SCHENGEN ACQUIS|
Letter from the Home Secretary, the Right
Honourable Jack Straw MP, to the Presidency of the Council (Document
No: 8562/99, SCHENGEN 56)
At the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 12
March I announced that the United Kingdom intended to exercise
the provision in Article 4 of the Schengen Protocol by seeking
to participate in those measures of the Schengen acquis, now integrated
into the EU Treaties, that relate to law-enforcement and criminal
judicial co-operation, including the SIS. I was most grateful
for the positive response you gave to this announcement and I
am happy to submit with this letter the United Kingdom's written
application to participate in these areas.
The application is one part of the UK's wider
intention to participate in all aspects of JHA co-operation which
are consistent with the UK's different policy on frontier controls,
as set out in a protocol of the Amsterdam Treaty. I am clear that
it is very much in our interests to co-operate at a European level
in this area of activity. We also believe that the UK has a valuable
contribution to make, to the benefit of EU partners, in the areas
covered by this application and in future measures in the fields
of police and judicial co-operation, asylum and immigration.
The application takes the form of a list of
Articles and supplementary acquis in which the United Kingdom
is seeking to participate (annexed to this letter). This is accompanied
by a commentary, setting out our position on a number of Articles
of the Schengen Implementing Covention that will require legislative
or operational change before they can take effect in the United
Kingdom. We will of course discuss with the Presidency, Commission
and other partners the precise nature of our participation in
these areas and the extent of any transition periods we require.
I understand that my colleague John O'Donoghue
is submitting a parallel application. We are continuing to discuss
the difficult and sensitive issues of cross-border surveillance
and hot pursuit with our Irish colleagues.
I am sure that the United Kingdom will continue
to enjoy the full support of Germany in its continued and determined
efforts to play the fullest possible part in the development of
future European co-operation.
I am copying this letter and enclosure to Justice
Minister Daubler-Gmelin, to Anita Gradin and Mario Monti in the
Commission and to Charles Elsen in the Council Secretariat.
20 May 1999