Monday, 4 January 2010

Killed in inaction: The EU’s third pillar (Justice and Home Affairs)

Typical exaggerated headline writing, speaking about “inaction”, but the Lisbon Treaty truly did away with the so called third pillar of the European Union, Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) and some of its laborious decision-making procedures. Although again, some peculiarities remain, in typical EU fashion.

In addition to the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the European Council has adopted, for the years 2010-2014, the Stockholm Programme (Conclusions of the European Council 10 to 11 December 2009; document EUCO 6/09; point 25; page 9):

The Stockholm Programme – An open and secure Europe serving and protecting the citizens (document 17024/09; version 2 December 2009).

State of the JHA union

Professor Steve Peers has published an updated version of the Statewatch Analysis: The ‘Third pillar acquis’ after the Treaty of Lisbon enters into force – Second version: 1 December 2009.

This means that Peers’ analysis includes the latest decisions taken by the JHA Council on 30 November 2009, the last day before the Lisbon Treaty entered into force.

The introduction describes the demise of the third pillar and presents the main features of JHA law, or the area of freedom, security and justice (FSJ)(pages 1 and 2).

The Annex lists the different categories and individual legal acts in force (page 3 to 12), with useful notes.

We have to be grateful to Professor Peers and to Statewatch for yet another timely clarification of “the law of the land”, but I wonder why the EU institutions have not taken up the challenge of publishing in “real time”.

Ralf Grahn

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