Townsend, Adam. (2003) Can the EU Deliver the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice? EPIN Working Paper No. 9, September 2003. [Working Paper]
In 1997, the European Union set out the broad aims of its next big project: the construction of an ‘area of freedom, security and justice’. The EU has set itself a task at least as ambitious as the single market project. To guarantee freedom and justice, while enhancing security, the EU will have to do the following: make national criminal laws more similar; make national police forces and prosecutors work together more effectively; build a common border guard; develop common asylum and visa policies; make the EU courts more efficient; guarantee the rights of individuals and ensure that EU agencies are accountable for their actions. In order for the EU to be able to make these politically sensitive and far-reaching reforms, the member states must give the European Union more power to make and enforce laws in these areas.... Politicians throughout Europe continually bemoan the Union’s ineffectiveness and its inability to deliver. But in the case of the draft Constitutional Treaty, it is the member states that have failed to deliver a more effective Union. This is surprising and regrettable. This paper looks superficially at the extent to which the draft Constitutional Treaty would improve the EU’s ability to build the area of freedom, security and justice. It considers the impact of the incorporation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the proposed reforms to the EU courts, the changes to the internal security powers of the EU and proposals for the harmonisation of national criminal laws.
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