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To establish a framework for training, information, study and exchange activities to improve the effectiveness of cooperation between the administrations of the Member States in the areas of asylum policy, the crossing of external borders of the Member States and immigration policy. Thanks to its multiannual programming, the Odysseus programme aims to extend this cooperation to non-member countries which are applying for accession.
Joint Action 98/244/JHA of 19 March 1998 adopted by the Council on the basis of Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union, introducing a programme of training, exchanges and cooperation in the field of asylum, immigration and crossing of external borders (Odysseus programme) - (1998-2002) [Official Journal L 99, 31.03.1998].
A programme (the Sherlock programme) of training, exchanges and cooperation on identity documents was adopted by the Council in 1996 [Official Journal L 287, 8 November 1996]. It was felt necessary to extend the programme to asylum, immigration and the crossing of external borders. In 1998 the Council therefore adopted a new joint action introducing the Odysseus programme, which took over the projects already under way and broadened the scope of the Sherlock programme for the years 1998 to 2002.
For the purposes of setting priorities in the annual programme of measures, account will be taken of (Art. 1):
For the purposes of the Odysseus programme the following definitions apply to the measures referred to in point 2 (Art. 3):
The Odysseus programme comprises (Art. 6):
Broken down by subject matter, measures focus primarily on (Art. 7):
- immigration (Art. 8):
- crossing of external borders (Art. 9):
To qualify for Community finance, projects must be of interest to the Union and involve at least two Member States.
Projects may involve countries preparing for their accession, and other non-member countries where this would be useful for the purpose of the projects (Art. 11).
The proportion of financial support from the Community will be 60% of the total cost of the programme; up to 80% may be available in exceptional cases (Art. 13).
Measures under the programme which are financed by the general budget of the European Communities are managed by the Commission (Art. 14).
The Commission is responsible for managing and monitoring the programme and for drawing up a draft annual programme comprising a breakdown of the appropriations available and based on thematic priorities corresponding to the structure, content and objectives of the programme (Art. 15).
The Commission is assisted by a committee consisting of a representative of each Member State and chaired by a representative of the Commission (Art. 16).
As from the second financial year, projects for which finance is requested are submitted to the Commission for scrutiny before 31 March of the budgetary year to which they are to be charged (Art. 17).
The Commission is responsible for organising an evaluation of the programme by impartial experts unconnected with the programme, appointed in agreement with the Management Committee referred to in point 9 (Art. 18).
The Action entered into force on 19 March 1998.
4) implementing measures
1999 Programme - Official Journal C 17, 22 January 1999
Annual programme for 2000 - Official Journal C 30, 02.02.2000 It lays out the priorities regarding the implementation of the programme on the one hand and supplies general and practical information to applicants seeking finance to initiate projects on the other. The annual budget is EUR 3 millions.
5) follow-up work
The funds allocated to implement the Odysseus programme have been exhausted for the financial year 2001. The Commission has therefore proposed the adoption of a Council Decision concerning the creation of a new programme named Argo, which will run from 1 January 2002 until 31 December 2003.
Last updated: 25.10.2001