In 2004, the five-year transitional period foreseen for the implementation of the Tampere work programme on migration and asylum came to an end and intense discussions on the adoption of a new multi-annual work programme took place between the Commission, the Council and the Member States. The new five-year work programme, the so-called Hague Programme, was adopted at the Brussels European Council on 4/5 November 2004 and deals with all aspects of policies relating to the area of freedom, security and justice, notably fundamental rights and citizenship, asylum and migration, border management and integration. The new programme, which is in itself not legally binding, reflects the ambitions of the Constitution for Europe and contains a political commitment to abolish the requirement of unanimous voting in the Council on all EU immigration and asylum laws (except for legal immigration) by 1 April 2005.
The Hague Programme proposes several key steps for the further communitarization of Asylum and migration policy:
- the establishment of a common asylum procedure and a uniform status for those who are granted asylum or subsidiary protection, including the establishment of the new European Refugee Fund for the period 2005-2010, and designated Community funds for assisting Member States in the reception and processing of asylum-seekers;
- the adoption of an EU approach to managing economic migration;
- a greater coordination of national integration policies, including the establishment of common basic principles on integration, the exchange of experience and information on integration and a new fund for integration programmes;
- the integration of migration in the EUs existing and future relations with third countries, encompassing issues such as refugee protection, combating illegal migration, return and readmission, and including the establishment of a European Return Fund by 2007;
- the strengthening of controls and surveillance of the external borders of the EU, including the establishment of a Community border management fund by the end of 2006 at the latest;
- the further development of the Common Visa Policy, including harmonized solutions on biometric identifiers in travel documents and the establishment of common visa offices in the long term.
This ICMPD briefing paper provides an analysis of the Hague programme, critically evaluates the progress made so far under the Tampere agenda and gives an outlook on the future development of EU Migration and Asylum Policy.
Type of Document: Briefing Paper
Author/s: Haleh Chahrokh, Martin Hofmann, Albert Kraler, Michael Jandl and Cecilia Lundström
Published: Webpublication, ICMPD
Pages: 22 p.