Few EU policy areas have as direct a bearing on citizens in the European Union (and outsiders) as justice and home affairs (JHA).
Time is running short for an informed public debate about major policy choices.
Do the next five years offer us EU citizens more freedoms and justice or ever increasing controls (security)? The implementation blueprint for the first five years under the Lisbon Treaty in the European Union’s area of freedom, security and justice (FSJ) is heading for final adoption in June 2010.
In a direct sense, the Action Plan, Delivering an area of freedom, security and justice for Europe's citizens ─Action Plan Implementing the Stockholm Programme, is going to be the roadmap for future action by the European Union. Indirectly, potentially converging views at EU level may affect the thrust of justice and home affairs legislation and policies at national level.
The European Commission refers to document 17024/09 as the Stockholm Programme, whereas the Council seems to have replaced it by a new document 5731/10, without indicating the substitution or the reasons.
The Justice and Home Affairs Council has issued preliminary conclusions (8920/10) on the Commission Communication COM(2010) 171 final, the proposed Stockholm Progamme Action Plan. (See Grahnlaw: EU JHA Council Conclusions on Stockholm Programme Action Plan, 24 April 2010, as well as earlier blog posts on the Stockholm Programme.)
A week from adoption by the Commission, the Stockholm Programme Action Plan has now been posted visibly on Eur-Lex, under the latest COM documents made available. A few moments ago there were still only the three language versions we have mentioned and linked to earlier: English, French and German (with 20 official languages still missing less than two months ahead of final adoption).
Call for materials
In earlier blog posts, in addition to the basic documents, we have referred to contributions by Toby Archer (FIIA), Hugo Brady (CER), Tony Bunyan and Steve Peers (Statewatch), the House of Lords (European Union Committee) and others.
Now that the Lisbon Treaty has entered into force and the Stockholm Programme has been adopted, more is needed in order to achieve a borderless area of policy debate before the quinquennial landmarks are set in detail.
Dear Readers, please let us know about other relevant and timely materials.