Response by Mr. Dick Roche TD to European Convention Working Group Report on Freedom, Security and Justice
Responding to debate of the report of the Working Group on Freedom, Security and Justice at the European Convention today, the Minister said:
“I would like to commend John Bruton's chairing of this important Working Group. There is much in the report to support.
The need for more effective action against organised and cross-border crime must be a universal concern. There is, however, a need to balance the two realities of trying to achieve more effective European action across the range of areas considered in the report while recognising that many of these issues are deeply sensitive and are at the heart of the relationship between the citizen and the State.
I very much welcome the recommendations on an integrated approach to visas, migration, residency, asylum seeking, and refugee issues. I have no difficulty with QMV and co-decision being used in this area.
I also welcome moves to simplify decision-making in keeping with the recommendations in the Simplification Working Group.
There are, however, also a number of areas of concern. As the Minister for Justice said in his recent speech in Trier, unanimity continues to be the best way of achieving real progress in the area of police and judicial cooperation. This is necessary to ensure widespread public support for progress in this area.
At the same time, the suggestions for peer review of legal systems, and the recommendation that all the Commission, as Treaty guardian, should be in a position to ensure that all Member States fully implement the commitments they enter into, are useful and welcome."