EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

Back to EUR-Lex homepage

This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website

Document 52010AG0007

Position (EU) No 7/2010 of the Council at first reading with a view to the adoption of a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Decision No 573/2007/EC establishing the European Refugee Fund for the period 2008 to 2013 by removing funding for certain Community actions and altering the limit for funding such actions Adopted by the Council on 25 February 2010

OJ C 123E , 12.5.2010, p. 1–4 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

12.5.2010   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 123/1


POSITION (EU) No 7/2010 OF THE COUNCIL AT FIRST READING

with a view to the adoption of a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Decision No 573/2007/EC establishing the European Refugee Fund for the period 2008 to 2013 by removing funding for certain Community actions and altering the limit for funding such actions

Adopted by the Council on 25 February 2010

2010/C 123 E/01

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 78(2) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure (1),

Whereas:

(1)

The policy of the Union on the Common European Asylum System (the CEAS) is designed, under the terms of the Hague Programme, to establish a common asylum area by means of an effective harmonised procedure consistent with the values and humanitarian tradition of the European Union.

(2)

Much progress has been made in recent years towards the establishment of the CEAS, thanks to the introduction of common minimum standards. There remain great disparities between the Member States, however, in the granting of international protection and the forms that such protection takes.

(3)

In its Policy Plan on Asylum, adopted in June 2008, the Commission announced its intention to develop the CEAS by proposing a revision of the existing legal instruments in order to achieve greater harmonisation of the applicable standards and by strengthening support for practical cooperation between the Member States, in particular, by a legislative proposal to establish a European Asylum Support Office (the Support Office) in order to increase coordination of operational cooperation between Member States so that the common rules are implemented effectively.

(4)

In the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum, adopted in September 2008, the European Council solemnly reiterated that any persecuted foreigner is entitled to obtain aid and protection on the territory of the European Union in application of the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951 relating to the Status of Refugees, as amended by the New York Protocol of 31 January 1967, and other relevant treaties. It was also expressly agreed that a European support office would be established in 2009.

(5)

Practical cooperation on asylum aims to increase convergence and ensure ongoing quality of Member States' decision-making procedures in that area, within a European legislative framework. A substantial number of practical cooperation measures has already been undertaken in recent years, notably the adoption of a common approach to information on countries of origin and the establishment of a common European asylum curriculum. The Support Office should be established in order to strengthen and develop those cooperation measures.

(6)

In the interests of simplifying actions to support practical cooperation on asylum matters, and in so far as the Support Office should be entrusted with some of the tasks that are currently financed under the European Refugee Fund, it is necessary to transfer responsibility for some of the Community actions provided for in Article 4 of Decision No 573/2007/EC (2) from the European Refugee Fund to the Support Office in order to ensure the best possible practical cooperation on asylum matters.

(7)

In order to take account of the reduced scope of the Community actions, the limit for their funding laid down in Decision No 573/2007/EC should be reduced from 10 % of the Fund's available resources to 4 % thereof.

(8)

The financial envelope for the implementation of Decision No 573/2007/EC should be reduced in order to free up resources for funding the Support Office.

(9)

In accordance with Article 3 of the Protocol on the Position of the United Kingdom and Ireland in respect of the area of freedom, security and justice, annexed to the Treaty on European Union and to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the United Kingdom and Ireland have notified their wish to take part in the adoption and application of this Decision.

(10)

In accordance with Articles 1 and 2 of the Protocol on the Position of Denmark, annexed to the Treaty on European Union and to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Denmark is not taking part in the adoption of this Decision and is not bound by it nor subject to its application,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS DECISION:

Article 1

Decision No 573/2007/EC is hereby amended as follows:

1)

Article 4 is amended as follows:

a)

in paragraph 1, the figure ‘10 %’ is replaced by the figure ‘4 %’;

b)

in paragraph 2, points (a) and (f) are deleted;

2)

Article 12(1) is replaced by the following:

‘1.   The financial envelope for the implementation of this Decision from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2013 shall be EUR 614 million.’.

Article 2

This Decision shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Article 3

This Decision is addressed to the Member States in accordance with the Treaties.

Article 4

This Decision shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Done at …

For the European Parliament

The President

For the Council

The President


(1)  Position of the European Parliament of 7 May 2009 (not yet published in the Official Journal), position of the Council at first reading of … (not yet published in the Official Journal). Position of the European Parliament of … (not yet published in the Official Journal).

(2)  OJ L 144, 6.6.2007, p. 1.


STATEMENT OF THE COUNCIL'S REASONS

I.   INTRODUCTION

On 18 February 2009, the Commission adopted the proposal amending the Decision on the European Refugee Fund (ERF) (1) which accompanied the proposal for a Regulation establishing a European Asylum Support Office (EASO) (2).

On 7 May 2009, the European Parliament adopted first reading Opinions on respectively the ERF Decision on which no amendments were proposed (3) and the EASO Regulation which set out 40 amendments to the Commission proposal (4).

On 25 February 2010, the Council adopted its position at first reading on both proposals in accordance with Article 294 of the Treaty.

On 5-7 October 2009, the Committee of the Regions adopted an Opinion on The future Common European Asylum System II (5) containing several recommendations regarding the EASO Regulation.

II.   OBJECTIVE OF THE PROPOSAL

The ERF Decision is being amended to take account of changes created by the establishment of the European Asylum Support Office and, in particular, to enable the Office assuming responsibility for certain operations that have until now been financed by the refugee fund. The European Asylum Support Office is directed to improving the implementation of the Common European Asylum System, strengthening practical cooperation among Member States on asylum and provision and/or coordination of operational support to Member States facing specific and disproportionate pressures on their national asylum systems.

III.   ANALYSIS OF THE COUNCIL'S POSITION AT FIRST READING

General

The negotiations took place in a policy context shaped by the Hague programme which sets out the objectives and the instruments in the field of justice and home affairs for the period 2005-2010. The European Council expressed its commitment to further develop the Common European Asylum System through amending the legislative framework and strengthening practical and collaborative cooperation, inter alia by establishing a European Asylum Support Office. Subsequently, in the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum of October 2008, the European Council agreed to establish such an office in 2009.

In accordance with Article 3 of the Protocol on the Position of the United Kingdom and Ireland in respect of the area of freedom, security and justice, annexed to the Treaty on European Union and to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the United Kingdom and Ireland have notified their wish to take part in the adoption and application of this Decision.

In accordance with Articles 1 and 2 of the Protocol on the Position of Denmark, annexed to the Treaty on the European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Denmark is not taking part in the adoption of the ERF Decision and is not bound by it nor subject to its application.

In line with the provisions of the Joint Declaration on practical arrangements for the co-decision procedure (6), representatives of Council, Parliament and the Commission engaged in contacts with a view to concluding an agreement at the stage of the Council's position at first reading. These contacts resulted in an agreement on the texts concerning the EASO Regulation and the ERF Decision.

IV.   CONCLUSION

The Council's Position at first reading reflects the compromise reached in negotiations between the Council and the European Parliament, facilitated by the Commission. On 20 November 2009, Coreper endorsed this compromise by adopting political agreement on the ERF Decision and on the EASO Regulation. The Chair of the European Parliament's LIBE Committee has since in a letter to the Chairman of Coreper indicated that if the compromise texts are transmitted to Parliament as Council's positions at first reading, he will recommend to the members of LIBE, and subsequently to the plenary, that Council's positions be accepted without amendments in Parliament's second reading, subject to verification by the lawyer-linguists of both institutions. Once the ERF Decision and the EASO Regulation are adopted, the way will be paved for the early establishment of the European Asylum Support Office which will be of key importance in further enhancing practical cooperation in the field of asylum.


(1)  6702/09 ASILE 6 CADREFIN 7 CODEC 213.

(2)  6700/09 ASILE 5 CODEC 212 + ADD 1, 2.

(3)  T6-0375/2009, 7.5.2009.

(4)  T6-0379/2009, 7.5.2009.

(5)  CdR 90/2009 fin.

(6)  OJ C 148, 28.5.1999, p. 1.


Top