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From Stockholm to Rome

The House of Lords Home Affairs, Health And Education EU Sub-Committee has today invited contributions to its new inquiry, which will examine the EU's next five-year agenda for EU justice and home affairs (JHA) activity in what is likely to become known as the ‘Rome Programme'.

The European Council is expected to begin formal discussions in June 2014 on what is likely to become known as the ‘Rome Programme', given that it will most probably be agreed at the end of the Italian Presidency of the EU in December 2014. The next JHA programme will cover the period 2015 to 2019.

Chairman of the Committee, Lord Hannay of Chiswick, said:

“Formal planning for the adoption of the EU's fourth five-year plan for justice and home affairs activity will begin in June 2014, making this a good time for the Lords to begin an inquiry into what its content and scope should be and thus to look to shape the next Programme. It will allow us to take evidence from a range of specialist stakeholders before presenting our findings at the beginning of next year in time to inform the UK Government's approach as well as that of the EU as a whole.

“Having already examined many aspects of the EU's past and current JHA activity, including the European Arrest Warrant, Europol and Eurojust in the context of our recent joint inquiry into the UK's 2014 opt-out decision, which has recently been reopened, as well as our earlier reports on migration, drugs and internal security, we were keen to investigate the form that this cooperation could take in the future, particularly from the UK's perspective.

“We are particularly keen that the scope of this inquiry takes into account the whole extent of JHA activity, including civil and criminal justice, as well migration, internal security, data protection/privacy and international cooperation between the EU and third countries, among other areas. We intend to look at any lessons that can be learned from the application of the current Stockholm Programme, in order to suggest how the next Programme could be improved.

“I would encourage anyone who has an interest to contribute to this debate.”

Specific questions the Committee is asking include:

  • What should be the content, focus and purpose of the next JHA Programme, and what lessons could be learnt from the current, Stockholm, Programme for the period 2010-14 in this regard?
  • What role should the European Parliament and national parliaments play, if any, in defining and shaping the content of the next JHA Programme?
  • How best can the funding allocated to JHA activity in the Multiannual Financial Framework for the period 2014-2020 be allocated to achieve the main aims of the next JHA Programme?
  • What form could or should the UK's future participation in JHA matters take beyond the 2014 opt-out decision and will this undermine the UK's influence in any respect?

The deadline for submitting written evidence is Wednesday 16 October 2013. For further information, please see the Committee's webpage.

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