Pasiūlymas dėl rezoliucijos - B5-0148/2004Pasiūlymas dėl rezoliucijos
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29 March 2004

further to Oral Questions B5-0005/2004 and B5-0006/04
pursuant to Rule 42(5) of the Rules of Procedure
by José Ribeiro e Castro
on behalf of the Committee on Citizens' Freedoms and Rights, Justice and Home Affairs
on the progress made in 2003 in creating an area of freedom, security and justice (AFSJ) (Articles 2 and 39 of the EU Treaty)

Procedūra : 2004/2523(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the progress made in 2003 in creating an area of freedom, security and justice (AFSJ) (Articles 2 and 39 of the EU Treaty)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Treaty on European Union and in particular the fourth indent of Article 2, which lays down that one of its priority objectives is to maintain and develop the Union as an area of freedom, security and justice, in which the free movement of persons is assured in conjunction with appropriate measures with respect to external border controls, asylum, immigration and the prevention and combating of crime, as well as Article 39(3), which stipulates that the European Parliament shall hold a debate each year on the progress made in the creation of that area,

–  having regard to Article 61(a) of the EC Treaty, which fixes a deadline of five years after the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam for the full implementation of the free movement of persons in conjunction with directly related flanking measures with respect to external border controls, asylum and immigration and, at the same time, establishes a direct link between the necessary measures which must be introduced for its creation and the specific measures geared to combating and preventing crime referred to in Article 31(e) of the EU Treaty,

–  having regard to Article 4 of Protocol No 4 to the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and Article 19, paragraph 1 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights,

–  having regard to the Action Plan of the Council and the Commission on how best to implement the provisions of the Treaty of Amsterdam on the creation of an area of freedom, security and justice (known as the 'Vienna Action Plan')[1],

–  having regard to the conclusions of the Presidency of the extraordinary European Council held in Tampere on 15 and 16 October 1999 with a view to creating an area of freedom, security and justice in the European Union,

–  having regard to the conclusions of the respective presidencies of the European Councils held in Vienna on 11 and 12 December 1998, in Santa Maria da Feira on 19 and 20 June 2000, in Nice from 7 to 9 December 2000, in Laeken on 14 and 15 December 2001, in Seville on 21 and 22 June 2002, in Thessaloniki on 19 and 20 June 2003 and in Brussels on 16 and 17 October 2003,

–  having regard to the new provisions of the Treaty of Nice,

–  having regard to the Treaties of Accession to the European Union of the ten new Member States, which were signed in Athens on 16 April 2003 and are to take effect as from 1 May 2004, through which the acquis communautaire is accepted, in particular the acquis contained in Chapter 24 relating to justice and home affairs,

–  having regard to the draft constitutional treaty drawn up by the European Convention and the development recommended with regard to the area of freedom, security and justice,

–  having regard to the Commission 'scoreboard' of 30 December 2003 analysing the progress made as regards adopting the requisite measures and complying with the deadlines set by the Treaty of Amsterdam, the Vienna Action Plan and the conclusions of the Tampere European Council on the creation of the area of freedom, security and justice in the European Union,

–  having regard to the declarations made by the Presidents of the Council and Commission during the debate held at the part-session in February 2004 in reply to the oral questions tabled by the Committee on Citizens' Freedoms and Rights, Justice and Home Affairs,

–  having regard to Rule 42(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the five-year period laid down by the Treaty of Amsterdam for the creation of the area of freedom, security and justice in the Union will expire on 1 May 2004, and whereas the Accession Treaty for ten new Member States, as well as certain provisions of the Treaty of Nice strengthening the Union's powers with a view to the construction of that area, will also enter into force on the same date,

B.  mindful of the text of the draft Constitutional Treaty drawn up by the European Convention, which contains a significant consolidation of the AFSJ and on which a number of expectations for the near future are consequently focused,

C.   whereas, as a result, a general assessment must be made of the measures adopted during the whole of the period from May 1999 up to the present so as to check the extent to which the deadlines set by the Treaty of Amsterdam and the objectives defined in Tampere and updated at successive European Councils have been complied with in relation to the creation of an area of freedom, security and justice in the European Union, without forgetting a specific reference to the progress made in 2003, and whereas consideration should be given to drawing up a new five-year programme which would take account of the Union's fresh challenges,


(a)  as regards the protection of fundamental rights, respect for privacy, particularly the protection of personal data, and the fight against any form of discrimination

1.  Deplores the fact that the Council has not been able to reach an agreement on the adoption of organic data protection legislation under the third pillar which would provide guarantees equivalent to those under Directive 95/46/EC with regard to the first pillar of the Union; calls on the Commission to propose a legal instrument for this purpose; calls on the Council to adopt the above legal instrument as an urgent priority;

2.  Stresses that the protection of personal data is a fundamental right of European citizens in accordance with Article 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, and deplores the fact that the Commission has allowed the personal data of European citizens travelling to the United States to be forwarded to the US security agencies without adequate guarantees of respect for their fundamental right to have such data treated with confidentiality;

3.  Reminds the Council of the need to adopt the Commission initiative, dating from November 2001, for a framework decision on combating racism and xenophobia, on which Parliament delivered its opinion at the part-session in July 2002;

4.  Declares its support for and solidarity with the victims of terrorism and their families, as well as with the organisations and communities caring for them; for this reason recommends that the European Union take the initiative at world level to establish an International Day of the Victims of Terrorism and, to this end, calls on the Commission to forward to the JHA Council now a proposal for a European day commemorating the victims of terrorism, and proposes 11 September as the date for it;

5.  Calls for any development of the SIS to comply fully with Directive 95/46/EC;

(b)  as regards the movement of citizens in an internal area without borders

6.  Attaches crucial importance to the proposal for a European Parliament and Council directive on the right of Union citizens and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States, which was first submitted by the Commission on 23 May 2001 with the aim of incorporating the relevant case-law of the Court of Justice into Community legislation and merging the right of entry and residence for citizens of the European Union, which is currently spread over a complex legislative arsenal comprising two regulations and nine directives, in a single text; notes the common position of the Council and calls on it to adopt the directive, taking account of the positions expressed by Parliament;

(c)  as regards the management of external borders

7.  Calls on the Commission to put forward proposals geared to the introduction of a common policy for the integrated management of the external borders of the EU Member States, funded with Community resources, and calls likewise on the Council to adopt those proposals as soon as possible;

8.  Welcomes the agreement reached by the JHA Council on 27 November 2003 on the draft Council conclusions on the main elements of the proposal for a Council regulation, submitted by the Commission, on the creation of a European Agency for the management of operational cooperation at external borders, as called for at the European Councils held in Tampere in 1999, in Laeken in 2001, in Seville in 2002, in Thessaloniki in 2003 and in Brussels in October 2003, even though checks on the entry of citizens from third countries and the actual management of the Union's external borders remain the responsibility of each Member State;


(d)  as regards asylum policy

9.  Congratulates the Commission for the fact that it has submitted all the legislative proposals required for the application of the first stage of a common asylum policy within the deadlines set, which has resulted in the introduction of a temporary protection system, the creation of a European refugee fund, the adoption of a directive on conditions for the reception of asylum seekers, the adoption of a regulation, designed to replace the Dublin Convention, laying down which state is responsible for considering asylum applications, and finally the setting-up of the Eurodac system, through the adoption of a regulation, for identifying asylum seekers by comparing fingerprints;

10.  Regrets the repeated delays and failure - for which the Council above all is responsible - to meet the deadlines set for the introduction of the first stage of a common European asylum system as indicated in the Treaty of Amsterdam and the conclusions of the 1999 Tampere European Council, and reiterated at the European Councils held in Laeken on 14 and 15 December 2001, in Seville on 24 and 25 October 2002 and in Thessaloniki on 19 and 20 June 2003;

11  Calls on the Council to adopt, as a matter of urgency, the two essential elements still lacking for the first stage of the common European asylum system to be completed, taking into account the European Parliament's position on the issue: (i) the proposal for a Council directive on minimum standards concerning the procedures which Member States must apply for granting or withdrawing refugee status; (ii) the proposal for a Council directive on minimum standards which the Member States must apply in relation to the relevant requirements and the status for which third-country nationals and stateless persons may opt in order to be treated as refugees or enjoy other forms of international protection;

12.  Urges a ban on any collective expulsion;

13.  Calls on the Commission and Council to pay particular attention to the external aspects of asylum policy, taking account of the recent developments in protection systems at world level, and therefore considers it important that new approaches should be adopted with a view to complementing current asylum systems through the adoption of appropriate legal instruments regulating, inter alia:

  • -a resettlement scheme at Community level whereby refugees are transferred from a first reception country to the European Union;
  • -the establishment of protected entry procedures whereby applications for asylum or other forms of international protection are considered outside European Union territory;

14.  Requests that these two proposals for directives should constitute ambitious legislation offering European added value as regards both efficiency and respect for the Member States' international obligations in this sphere;

15.  Welcomes the Commission's intention to continue with the European Refugee Fund beyond 2004, with a budget of EUR 670 m for 2005-2010;

(e)  as regards immigration policy

16.   Deplores the fact that the Council is unable to establish a consistent approach to managing an immigration policy capable of tackling the challenges of the 21st century by providing legal entry channels, integration policies and relations with third countries aimed at turning immigration into a positive factor for both the countries of origin and the host countries; welcomes the adoption of Council Directive 2003/109/EC of 25 November 2003 on the status of third-country nationals who are long-term residents, in order to facilitate their integration as a key element of economic and social cohesion, and of the Directive on family reunification, which represent the first pieces of legislation adopted by the Community in the field of legal immigration, even though it would have wished their content to be less limited than is in fact the case following the negotiations in the Council; deplores even more the fact that the Council is not even able to adopt the measures already proposed regarding entry and residence for purposes of working, studying or training;

5.  Calls on the Council, with the aim of establishing a common policy in the field of immigration, to speed up its work and take account of the European Parliament's position on the issue with a view to adopting the proposals submitted by the Commission in accordance with Article 63(3)(a) of the EC Treaty, which are currently blocked, relating to: (i) the entry and residence conditions for third-country nationals for the purpose of paid employment or self-employed economic activity; (ii) the entry and residence conditions for third-country nationals for the purposes of studies, vocational training or voluntary service; (iii) the criteria and practical arrangements for compensating for the financial imbalances arising from the implementation of Council Directive 2001/40/EC on the mutual recognition of decisions on the expulsion of third-country nationals;

(f)  as regards the common visa policy

18.  Calls on the Commission to comply with the mandate given by the Brussels European Council of 12 December 2003 as soon as possible and to submit the appropriate proposals for regulations, including one on the introduction of biometric data in passports issued to EU citizens, with a view to making them more secure, and on the development of the Visa Information System (VIS), provided that they respect European citizens' right to protection of personal data;

(g)  as regards measures for the harmonious integration of legal immigrants into EU societies and fair treatment for third-country nationals

19.  Points to the need to develop a comprehensive and multidimensional policy at European Union level on the integration of third-country nationals who are legally resident on EU territory, recognising them with the aim of conferring on them rights and obligations comparable to those of European Union citizens, as stressed in the conclusions of the Tampere and Thessaloniki European Councils, and giving priority to political involvement at local level;

20.  Calls on the Member State governments to fine-tune the corresponding policies on integration within a coherent Community framework, and to adopt the measures necessary to promote understanding of immigration and integration as positive factors for the economy and for economic growth, and as elements of cultural enrichment;

(h)  as regards cooperation and partnership with immigrants' countries of origin and with transit countries, and readmission agreements

21.  Calls, in keeping with the conclusions of the Tampere, Seville and Thessaloniki European Councils, for the European Union to give priority to studying immigration phenomena based on a comprehensive, global and balanced approach, differentiated in line with the situation ascertained in economic, political and social terms in the various regions and in each partner country involved, in an attempt to tackle the underlying causes of immigration by increasing trade and development aid and developing conflict prevention, and, in short, integrating policy on migration flows into EU foreign policy;

22.  Calls on the Commission to submit a report on the priorities for a common policy on the readmission of illegal immigrants and the measures to be taken to ensure that nobody is sent back to a dangerous situation;

23.  Congratulates the Commission on the submission in June 2003 of a proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a programme for technical and financial assistance to third countries in the area of migration and asylum and making provision, under budget line B7-667, for a multiannual programme running for a five-year period, with a budget of EUR 250 m, designed to provide specific additional responses to the needs encountered by third countries of origin and transit in their efforts to manage more effectively all aspects and dimensions of migration flows, including those relating to international protection;

24.  Supports the signing of readmission agreements with Hong Kong, Macau and Sri Lanka, and urges the Community to speed up and facilitate the negotiations under way on readmission agreements with Albania, Russia, Morocco, Ukraine, Turkey, China, Pakistan and Algeria;


(i)  as regards the adoption of rules on competence, recognition, the enforcement of decisions, improved compatibility of rules applicable in the Member States on conflicts between laws and jurisdictions, and compatibility between the procedural rules in civil law matters applicable in the Member States

25.  Welcomes the fact that, to date, six regulations have been adopted since the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam in the field of judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters linked to issues having cross-border implications in accordance with Article 65 of the EC Treaty, specifically: on insolvency proceedings; on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (former 'Brussels I'); on matrimonial matters and parental responsibility for children (former 'Brussels II'); on cooperation between Member State courts in the taking of evidence in civil and commercial matters; on the service in the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters; and on parental responsibility and matrimonial matters;

26.  Congratulates the Member States of the Union for having ratified the 1996 Hague Convention on parental responsibility;

27  Urges the Council to adopt, as a matter of urgency, the proposal for a directive on minimum rules on compensation for crime victims which will guarantee that they receive compensation for damages suffered;

28.  Urges the European Community and the Member States to take particular care, when legislating, to avoid the risk of potential inconsistency which might arise if two different legal systems are created, one for the Union, in cases with cross-border implications, and another made up of different national rules applying to national cases without cross-border implications;

29.  Advocates that the European Community should work on approximating Member States' legislation on alternative dispute resolution arrangements in the field of civil and commercial law ('ADR') through extrajudicial dispute resolution procedures applied by a mediator as an impartial third party;


(j)  as regards the fight against crime and the approximation of substantive criminal law

30.  Supports the progress which has been made in approximating the substantive criminal law of the Member States and welcomes the adoption by the European Union of minimum provisions on the constituent elements of criminal acts and penalties in the fields of money laundering, protection against counterfeiting of currencies and the euro, against the counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment, terrorism, trafficking in human beings, environmental protection through criminal law, the sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, corruption in the private sector, the confiscation of the proceeds of crime and cybercrime;

31.  Regrets the blocking of the process of the Council's adoption of the Framework Decision on the prevention and control of trafficking in human organs and tissues, resulting from an initiative by the Republic of Greece, on which the European Parliament has already expressed its opinion; recommends that it be finally adopted as soon as possible, in view

32.  Recommends closer coordination regarding drugs policy, including continuing progress in the adoption of common positions on minimum provisions throughout the EU or throughout the Schengen area, along the lines of the Framework Decision concerning the minimum provisions on the constituent elements of minimal acts and penalties in the field of drug trafficking agreed by the JHA Council meeting on 26 November 2003, and efficient cooperation in combating drug trafficking;

(k)  as regards the protection of individual rights, the approximation of procedural rules in criminal law, the framework decision on the European Arrest Warrant and the application of the principle of mutual recognition

33.  Notes that, in the field of procedural law in criminal matters, the European Union has adopted only two framework decisions: one on the status of victims in criminal proceedings and one on the confiscation of the proceeds of crime;

34.   Welcomes the adoption by the Council of the framework decision on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between the Member States, which constitutes significant progress given that it replaces the 15 extradition mechanisms; regrets that seven Member States have failed to meet the implementation deadline of 31 December 2003, laid down in Article 34(1) of the framework decision on the European Arrest Warrant; welcomes the statement by the Commission and the Council that the delay will have been remedied completely by 31 March this year as regards the existing Member States and that all ten accession countries will also be fully incorporated in the same system from the date of accession, i.e. 1 May, and insists that they should rapidly implement it;

35  Stresses that the cornerstone of judicial cooperation in penal matters is the principle of mutual recognition of judicial decisions; hopes that other mutual recognition measures will be adopted to facilitate judicial cooperation in penal matters - such as the European Evidence Warrant - since this is essential for preventing and tackling crime in an internal area without borders;

36.  Recommends that with the entry into force of the European Arrest Warrant the guarantees in criminal proceedings and the protection of the rights of suspects and accused persons should not be neglected;

37.  Points out between January 2003 and January 2004 all the Member States were to have included in their legal systems the European definition of the crime of terrorism together with the relevant penalties, as well as the European Arrest Warrant; therefore calls on the Member States which have not yet done so to adopt the legislation needed to ensure that these two key instruments in the fight against terrorism come into effect forthwith;

38.  Calls on the Council to speed up the negotiations with a view to the adoption of a framework decision on the application of the 'non bis in idem' principle;

39.  Calls on the Commission to submit a proposal for a framework decision on procedural guarantees for persons suspected, accused of, prosecuted or sentenced for offences under criminal law in the European Union which will ensure respect for and protection of individual rights and create the necessary mutual confidence between the various legal systems in the Member States;

40.  Calls on the Member States, in accordance with their duty of loyalty, to avoid the late, incomplete or incorrect integration of framework decisions into their national law, and to adopt all the necessary measures to enable the mechanisms and agencies set up within the framework of the Union to perform their tasks effectively, as divergences would otherwise result which would jeopardise the application of the law, create inequality among people who have been arrested and sentenced, and call into question the concept of the AFSJ and the very dynamics of the principle of mutual recognition;

(l)  as regards Europol and European police cooperation

41.  Welcomes the integration of the Schengen acquis into the Treaties and its communitarisation, which has made improved coordination possible between police and judicial services in the Member States in their fight against organised crime, and calls for the European Union to make rapid progress in creating the new Schengen information system ('SIS II');

42.  Is convinced of the need to adopt fresh legislative and non-legislative measures at EU level which will strengthen the present common framework in the field of police cooperation with the aim of significantly enhancing the effectiveness of cooperation between the law enforcement services of the Member States in preventing serious forms of crime and terrorism and combating these acts;

43.  Urges the European Union to adopt a legislative instrument geared to the current state of development in the Union in the field of police cooperation which will fully or partially replace the Europol Convention and which can easily be adapted to new situations through a less complex and less lengthy legal procedure, and which makes provision for judicial and democratic scrutiny at Union level;

(m) as regards Eurojust

44.  Welcomes the Council's adoption on 28 February 2002 of the decision setting up the judicial cooperation unit Eurojust, and calls on the Member States to promote awareness among their magistrates of the need to make systematic use of Eurojust services in the cases provided for where they fall within their sphere of competence;

45.  Deplores the fact that the European Parliament has not even been informed about the current draft agreement between Europol and Eurojust, and stresses that it is important, in these fields, to advance towards adequate safeguarding of citizens' rights by the Court of Justice in the interests of greater respect for the democratic principle, and towards the communitarisation of Europol and Eurojust;   


46.  Welcomes the adoption by the European Council (Santa Maria da Feira, 19 and 20 June 2000) of the report drawn up by the Council and Commission on the European Union's external priorities in the field of justice and home affairs, which are to be incorporated in the Union's overall strategy;

47.  Calls on the Commission and Council to continue to work on the stabilisation and partnership agreements with states in the western Balkans in the fields of combating organised crime, the judiciary, the fight against drugs, the management of borders and immigration;

48.  Calls on the Commission and Council to continue to develop the justice and home affairs dimension in relations with the United States, Russia, Ukraine and Canada;

49.  Notes and supports the fact that, at international level, the European Union's action has been closely integrated with that undertaken by the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the Hague Conference on Private International Law, which has led to the signing of the UN Convention against international organised crime (and its three protocols on trafficking in persons, the smuggling of immigrants and illicit trafficking in firearms), as well as participation in the adoption of the UN Convention on corruption and the Council of Europe Convention on combating cybercrime;


(n)  in general

50.  Notes that, overall, even where significant progress has been made in creating certain parts of the AFSJ, some of this has happened without complying with the deadlines set in Tampere, while other objectives already defined have not yet been achieved; notes that the more spectacular results have largely been achieved in response to pressure from public opinion and the terrorist acts of 11 September 2001;

51.  Recommends that during the Netherlands presidency in the second half of this year or, at the latest, during the Luxembourg presidency in the first half of 2005, the Council should promote a new European summit devoted to the creation of the AFSJ ('Tampere II'); this new Tampere II summit should: (a) carry out a proper and transparent policy review of the AFSJ during the period 1999-2004, recording its achievements and advances, as well as its delays and failures; (b) provide immediate impetus for tackling topics still outstanding; (c) draw up a new agenda in response to the Union's continuing needs in this sphere, defining a new realistic programme for the medium term (2005-2009) with political honesty and strategic skill;

52.  Considers that it is of major importance, in order to improve and further develop the AFSJ, that there should be closer and regular dialogue with the national parliaments regarding the topics to be discussed and the proposals to be assessed; recommends that from the next parliamentary term onwards Parliament's Committee on Citizens' Freedoms and Rights, Justice and Home Affairs should adopt a procedure for hearing national parliaments and regular cooperation with them, similar to that already developed by the Committee on Constitutional Affairs;

53.  Deplores the continued unacceptably low level of democratic legitimacy, in that Parliament is merely consulted on legislation relating to measures in the field of justice and home affairs, and that the Council, whilst technically fulfilling the Treaty obligation to consult Parliament, has often done so in a way which is no more than a request to rubber-stamp political agreements already reached;

(o)  as regards information policy

54.  Calls on the Commission and Council to carry out information campaigns and to publish 'multilingual guides and factsheets' on judicial cooperation in the Union, addressed both to the general public and to lawyers, judges, prosecutors, officials and other specialised staff;

55.  Calls on the Commission to develop and improve permanent information systems through specialised web pages containing factsheets on all key matters linked to the creation of the AFSJ at Member State and at EU and international levels, in all the Community languages; considers that this should be seen as a priority in the context of eEurope programmes and action plans;

(p)  as regards Union enlargement

56.  Requests that the fields of Justice and Home Affairs be integrated as soon as possible into the other Union policies and that the creation of the AFSJ be completed, as envisaged by the Tampere Council, with the specific aim of facilitating its optimum use by the ten new Member States;

57.  Calls on the Commission to supervise the application of the acquis communautaire in the candidate countries, particularly in the field of justice and home affairs, the application of the Schengen mechanism and acquis in relation to external border controls;

58.  Welcomes the holding of negotiations on Chapter 24, 'Justice and Home Affairs' with Bulgaria and Romania, and the consolidation of relations with Turkey and Croatia in this field;

(q)  as regards the consolidation of the successes achieved in creating the AFSJ

59.  Recommends that all the measures delayed should be adopted by the end of 2004 in line with objectives and timetables which have already been defined;

60.  Considers that building and consolidating genuine mutual confidence among national legal systems means that there must be an effective system, within the framework of the EU, which will guarantee that the Member State authorities apply Community legislation correctly on the ground and that national practices fully comply with the common rules agreed;

61.  Considers it desirable to establish appropriate legal means to guarantee that the Member States respect their obligations in the field of the AFSJ, also in relation to the legislation adopted under Title VI of the EU Treaty, its integration into national law and its application; points out that, in relation to matters falling under the first pillar (Title IV of the EC Treaty), infringement proceedings are currently under way pursuant to Articles 226 and 227 of the EC Treaty;

62.  Believes that in order to tackle the deficit in justice, freedom and security, a culture and process of peer review and mutual surveillance encompassing all Member States must be established;

63.  Insists that the legislation recently adopted by the French Parliament on the secular character of education should not lead to violations of fundamental rights, not least freedom of religion and the principle of non-discrimination, as laid down in and protected under the European Convention on Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, or of the principles common to the Member States, as referred to in Article 6 of the EU Treaty, or the provisions set out in Article 13 of the EC Treaty;

64.  Considers that the creation and development of the AFSJ as an area without internal borders based on respect for human rights is a fundamental and tangible expression of the European Union as an area for citizens rather than just for institutions and systems, and of the concept of European citizenship as sanctioned in Articles 17 et seq. of the EC Treaty;

(r)  as regards the necessary institutional and legal redefinition of the AFSJ and the resumption of work on the Constitutional Treaty

65.  Regrets the situation facing the European Union in the wake of the Brussels summit of 13 December 2003, which interrupted the adoption of a constitutional treaty based on the draft drawn up by the European Convention and foreseeing major developments as regards the ASFJ;

66.  Considers it necessary for the development of the AFSJ that the draft Constitutional Treaty be adopted , with particular reference to the following main points: (i) incorporating in the text of the draft Constitutional Treaty the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, in order to ensure respect for it in all sectors of the Union's activities; (ii) an end to the pillar structure; (iii) an increase in qualified majority voting and codecision with the European Parliament, as a vital element in strengthening the democratic legitimacy of decisions which, in the field of the AFSJ, have so many and such noticeable repercussions on the life and rights of citizens; (iv) strengthening the Commission's right of initiative, without prejudice to that of the Member States, in the fields of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters; (v) extending the Community method to judicial cooperation in penal and police matters, thereby making the decision-making process in this sector more democratic and efficient; (vi) the possible creation of the office of European Public Prosecutor, in order to combat Community fraud and other serious crossborder offences;(vii) strengthening the role and involvement of the national parliaments, particularly in monitoring respect for the subsidiarity principle, reciprocal assessment of the implementation of the Union's policies and the parliamentary scrutiny of Europol and Eurojust; (viii) extending the competences of the European Court of Justice; (ix) clarification and definition of the system of fundamental rights in the European Union, not least in relation to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms signed in Rome on 4 November 1950;

67.  Takes the view that these objectives should be achieved by resuming work on the draft produced by the Convention, but points out that the Treaties in force already contain provisions allowing progress to be made in many of these key areas and considers that, if necessary, they should be put to use for this purpose;

(s)  as regards the budget

68.  Rejects the regrettable initiative taken by Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK, which recently wrote to the Commission calling for a significant reduction in the Community budget in the EU's next financial perspective for the period between 2007 and 2013; recalls the warning given by the President of the Commission, Romano Prodi, to the effect that, if such action was taken, the Commission would be unable to perform its tasks in the fields of justice and home affairs, among other important policies and responsibilities;

69.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and Commission, the national parliaments and the governments of the Member States.