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Presidency Statement on EU Border Surveillance Proposals Presented by the Commission

The Slovenian Presidency welcomes the European Commission’s vision of the development of the EU’s external border management system, as presented today, comprising a Communication on the evaluation and future development of the Frontex Agency, a Communication on new tools for an Integrated Border Management Strategy and a Communication on the creation of a European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR). Since managing external borders is one of its Presidency priorities, Slovenia is organising a ministerial conference at which all three communications will be presented. The conference will be held on 12 March 2008 at Brdo pri Kranju. Slovenia’s aim is that the discussion between Member States at the conference will form the basis for the Council consequently to adopt conclusions that will provide political guidelines for future work in this area.

With its Communication on the evaluation of the Frontex Agency, the Commission is initiating a discussion on the Agency’s role in the future. Slovenia will strive to ensure that this discussion is completed by the end of its Presidency, enabling any necessary improvements in the functioning of the Agency to be prepared quickly and efficiently. Together with the other Member States, Slovenia will examine the readiness of Member States for the development of an entry-exit system recording the movements of non-EU nationals to and from the Schengen area. The use of this system, if feasible and on condition that personal data protection is guaranteed, could generate a significant amount of information important in combating illegal migration, organised crime and international terrorism. Slovenia will try to achieve a consensus on the further development and possible use of such systems in future with a view to promoting greater and faster throughput of travellers at borders. Slovenia will also pursue the improvement of EU external border management on the basis of the European Border Management Strategy and will treat the possibility of establishing a European Border Surveillance System as a priority.

It was precisely the significance of these discussions - which will affect future developments in the area of freedom, security and justice - that prompted Slovenia to organise a ministerial conference. The conference will provide a forum for broad discussion at the political level on the basis of the Commission’s communications on the future of the Frontex Agency, future challenges in the management of the EU’s external borders and the use of new technologies, with a view to producing policy guidelines for the work required in future in order to strengthen the external borders of the European Union.


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Date: 26.02.2008