2009 - 5 February - Roundtable on the External Dimension of the Stockholm Programme

On 5 February 2010, the T.M.C. Asser Instituut hosted a conference organised by CLEER on the implementation of the external dimension of the Stockholm Programme.

The Stockholm Programme is the European Union's new multi-annual programme in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice. It was adopted in December 2009 by the European Council and is expected to be implemented on the basis of an Action Plan drawn up by the Spanish Presidency. In the Stockholm Programme, the European Council sets out the policy guidelines concerning police and judicial cooperation, asylum, migration, immigration and border control. The Programme covers the internal and the external aspects of these policies. The conference organised by CLEER focussed on the implementation of the external dimension of these policies. The presentations and discussion were clustered around three topics:

  • Basic principles of mutual legal assistance agreements and extradition of the Union with third countries.
  • Combating illegal immigration: returning illegally staying third country nationals while cooperating with and assisting transit countries and countries of origin.
  • Data exchange and data protection clauses in international agreements of the Union: striking the right balance between the demand for data for law enforcement purposes and the protection of privacy.

After a welcome speech of professor Nelissen (Director of the Asser Instituut), dr. Rob Visser (Director General of the Ministry of Justice of the Netherlands) gave an introductory speech. H.E. Dr. E.M.H. Ballin (Dutch Minister of Justice) delivered the keynote speech. Among other issues, he called the participants to pay attention to the need of coherence and consistency between policies in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice and the external actions of the EU. To that end the Minister argued the necessity of ensuring coherence between the institutions based in Brussels and agencies like Frontex, Europol and Euojust. He also questioned the future role of COSI and parameters for minter-institutional cooperation as set out by the Council.

The three main topics were discussed in the framework of three sessions, under the Chatham House Rule. Speakers from academia and from the world of policymaking gave presentations. Each panel was closed by a debate chaired by a moderator. The conference was closed by the three moderators presenting overarching views and main conclusions regarding the three panels.

The conference was financially supported by the Dutch Ministry of Justice and the European Commission.