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Cablegate: Eu to Launch Cooperation with Libya On

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BRUSSELS 002166

SIPDIS

DHS FOR IAO, BORDER PATROL
DOJ FOR CRM
ROME ALSO FOR INS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PREF PTER CMGT CVIS KCRM LY EUN USEU BRUSSELS
SUBJECT: EU TO LAUNCH COOPERATION WITH LIBYA ON
MIGRATION ISSUES

REFS: (A) USEU BRUSSELS 1514
(B) USEU BRUSSELS 2148

SUMMARY
-------

1. EU Ministers for Justice and Home Affairs (JHA)
on June 3 agreed to cooperate with Libya to combat
clandestine migration and will help Libya build
institutional capacity. This decision "in
principle" ties development of this cooperation to
Libya respecting certain basic principles -
particularly those enshrined in the Geneva
Convention of 1951. The financial implications are
not yet clear, but this decision should not involve
significant direct EU financial assistance to Libya.
The Council also endorsed the five-year action plan
tabled by the Commission for implementing the Hague
program of EU actions in the field of Freedom,
Justice and Security. Ministers agreed an update of
the EU action plan for combating terrorism, prepared
with CT Coordinator de Vries, should be endorsed by
the June 16-17 European Council. The Commission made
a presentation of its plan for establishing the
second-generation Schengen Information System (SIS
II). Council decisions on justice-related issues
have been reported Ref B. Full text of Council
conclusions have been transmitted to EUR/ERA. END
SUMMARY.

COOPERATION WITH LIBYA ON MIGRATION ISSUES
------------------------------------------

2. Following on its April 14 meeting, when the
Commission reported on a mission to Libya on illegal
immigration (REF. A), the EU Justice and Home
Affairs Council on June 3 agreed "in principle" to
launch dialogue and cooperation with Libya on
migration issues. Noting that Libya is one of the
main transit countries to the EU, Luxembourg
Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs and
Immigration Nicolas Schmit told a press conference
the Commission would now conduct further exploratory
talks to verify whether Libya agrees to engage in
dialogue, based on basic principles, including
respect for human rights and those enshrined in the
Geneva Convention of 1951. The Council adopted
conclusions aimed at "clarifying the modalities" of
cooperation. The text calls on the Libyan
authorities "to show evidence that they are really
determined to respect their obligations under the
OAU Convention regulating the specific aspects of
refugee-related problems in Africa, in which the
Geneva Convention concerning the statute of refugees
is considered as the universal basic instrument with
respect to the statute of refugees and implying
effective cooperation with the UNHCR." The EU will
also press Libya to refrain from forcible returns
and the Commission will "look at ways it could help
the Libyan authorities to respect their
obligations."

3. Taking questions from reporters, Schmit said the
goal was "to lead Libya step-by-step to adopting
higher standards." Schmit underlined that the text
also contains explicit references to the situation
of Bulgarian and Palestinian health workers who have
been sentenced to death in Libya, saying the issue
(on which another ruling is now scheduled for
November 2005) was another crucial element for the
development of relations.

4. The EU also pledged to increase the frequency of
joint maritime patrols in the Mediterranean and
called for Member States to contribute aircraft and
naval vessels to create an ad hoc operational unit
for this purpose. A Council official told us that
some countries, led by Germany, had problems with
using EU funds for border control activities,
while others like Italy, Spain and Malta counter
that the Hague program explicitly allows for this
(the JHA conclusions on this point simply take up
wording from the Hague program). The financial
implications are not yet clear, but our
understanding of the JHA Council's decisions is that
they should not involve significant direct EU
financial assistance to Libya.

ACTION PLAN FOR THE HAGUE PROGRAM
---------------------------------

5. The Council endorsed the five-year action plan
tabled by the Commission for implementing the Hague
program of EU actions in the field of Freedom,
Justice and Security. This blueprint for EU
measures in the fight against terrorism, migration
management, visa policies, asylum, privacy and
security, the fight against organized crime, and
criminal justice will be endorsed by EU leaders at
the June 16-17 European Council meeting (details at
http://europa.eu.int/comm/justice_home/news/i nformat
ion_dossiers/the_hague_priorities/index_en.ht m).
Minister Frieden cautioned that endorsement of the
action plan should not be interpreted as meaning the
EU Member States will easily reach agreement on the
specific draft pieces of legislation to be reviewed
by the Council in the months and years to come.
Following the French and Dutch votes on the draft
Constitutional Treaty, Frieden said construction of
an EU area of freedom, security and justice -- where
many issues would have come under qualified majority
voting if the Constitutional Treaty entered into
fore -- would likely be "more difficult" because of
the continued requirement that decisions be taken by
consensus.

EU ACTION PLAN FOR THE FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM
--------------------------------------------

6. The Presidency presented an update, prepared
with CT Coordinator de Vries, of the EU action plan
for combating terrorism, also for endorsement by the
June 16-17 European Council. Frieden noted that EU
cooperation made it possible to avoid some attacks,
noting the increased involvement of EUROPOL and the
EU SitCen (Situation Center located within the EU
Council Secretariat) in the preventive work.

SCHENGEN INFORMATION SYSTEM
---------------------------

7. In a Joint Committee meeting of Schengen
participating countries, the Commission presented
its long-awaited plan for establishing the second-
generation Schengen Information System (SIS II).
Commission Vice-President Frattini underlined that
setting up of SIS II is a major condition for
allowing the new EU Member States to fully
participate in the Schengen area from 2007 and for
the lifting of border controls with the new EU
members. SIS II will not only be used in the
context of policies linked to the movement of
persons but was also designed as "an essential tool
for supporting police and judicial cooperation in
criminal matters," according to the Commission
announcement. The new system will offer "a more
flexible technical infrastructure and better ways of
guaranteeing identification than the current SIS.
For example, the new SIS will be able to store
fingerprints and facial images for verifying the
identity of a person and thus address the problems
of misidentifications made by the current system.
In addition, SIS II will have the ability to cope
with evolving users' requirements, which is simply a
reflection of the changing political environment in
which SIS operates. For instance, SIS II will
ensure immediate dissemination of a European Arrest
Warrant issued by a Member State across Europe.

MORE SCHENGEN-RELATED ISSUES
-----------------------------

8. The Council adopted without discussion a
Regulation intended to give vehicle registration
services of the EU Member States access to the
Schengen Information System in order to better
combat the theft of vehicles.

OTHER DECISIONS
---------------

9. The Council reached agreement in principle on a
proposal to make the European Police College (CEPOL,
a UK-based network of national institutes in charge
of training senior officials of police departments
in the Member States) a body of the EU. CEPOL will
thus be funded under the EU budget and the statute
of its staff will be amended accordingly.

MCKINLEY

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