Programme of the Belgian Presidency of the EU Council



The reinforcement and effective
implementation of the European Area of
Freedom, Security and Justice
represents a challenge for the European Union. The
Presidency will continue with the effective implementation of the
Stockholm Programme (2010-2014). The Treaty of Lisbon
makes new
instruments available in this respect. In close
consultation with the European
Parliament and the European
Commission, the Belgian Presidency hopes to take
full advantage of
the new institutional and procedural opportunities in order to
generate positive momentum in this area.

The concept of "internal security"
expressed in the Treaty of Lisbon must be a farreaching,
concept which covers prevention, repression and the judicial
dimension. The Treaty of Lisbon has set up the Standing Committee on
operational cooperation on internal security (OCIS), which will also
responsibility for reaching a common accord with the
Commission, for the
translation and operational monitoring of the
Internal Security Strategy for the EU
approved under the Spanish

The Presidency also supports the
intention of the European Commission to map
information systems,
particularly those which contain personal data, with a view
organizing an in-depth examination of information systems
architecture as part
of the integrated management of borders.

In the fight against terrorism and
organised crime, the need for security must be
reconciled with the
rights and individual freedoms of the European citizen. In this
context, the agreement between the European Union and the United
concerning the transfer of data from the European Union to
the United States
within the scope of the American Terrorist Finance
Tracking Program (TFTP)
programme must be approved. It will also be
appropriate to enter into
negotiations with the United States on the
subject of a universal agreement on
data protection and to continue
discussions on the use of data from passenger
files (PNR – Passenger
Name Records) within the EU based on a new Commission

The negotiations with the Council of
Europe concerning the accession by the
European Union to the
European Convention on Human Rights will be launched on
the basis of
the mandate granted by the Council.

In matters of judicial cooperation on
criminal matters, the development of a
European system for the
taking of evidence, as described in the Stockholm
Programme, will be
a priority for the Belgian Presidency, which will base its action
this area on an initiative by a group of Member States.

The development of a common policy on
immigration requires a global approach,
including a vision for the
future of legal migration.
The Stockholm Programme confirms the
objective of implementing a shared
asylum procedure and a uniform
status for persons benefitting from international
protection by

In addition, the strengthening of
Frontex, the European Agency for the
management of operational
cooperation at external borders, is a priority on the

Finally, the fight against human
trafficking is a major priority for the Belgian

Home affairs

The development of a coherent European
policy (analysis of criminality,
determination of priority phenomena
and the monitoring of Action Plans) is a
central objective of the
Presidency. The development of a general analysis of
constitutes the first stage in linking the different levels of
In the framework of the implementation of the action plan
against terrorism,
particular attention must be given to the
prevention of radicalisation, as much
through the actions of local
police forces in the fight against criminality as by
prevention. The Belgian Presidency will also launch projects
to problems such as international criminal gangs, illegal
trade in large-calibre
firearms in major European cities, identity
fraud, soccer violence and security of
rest areas along Europe’s

The strengthening of the shared action
by the European Union during major
disasters, both internally and
externally, shall also feature prominently on the
agenda. The debate
will be conducted on the basis of the evaluation of the
mechanism for civil protection, to be undertaken by the Commission.


Mutual recognition of judicial
decisions is the cornerstone of the European Justice
and Security
Area. In addition to the work of the Belgian Presidency on the
introduction of a new universal system for taking evidence,
particular attention
will be paid to the effective implementation of
existing instruments.

In terms of criminal justice, the
adaptation of the legal framework following the
entry into force of
the Treaty of Lisbon will be continued. As part of the
of previous framework decisions for the harmonisation of national
criminal legislation, priority will be given to instruments aimed, on
the one hand,
at the prevention of human trafficking and the fight
against this phenomenon, as
well protection of victims, and, on the
other hand, sexual exploitation and abuse
involving children and
child pornography.

In collaboration with the European
Commission, the Presidency wishes to make
progress with the
implementation of the roadmap aimed at reinforcing the
protection of
suspects and persons pursued within the context of criminal
proceedings. In the fight against fraud, the Belgian Presidency also
intends to
promote practical cross-border cooperation between
magistrates in neighbouring
zones for the request, use and exchange
of information at an international level
in the domains of tax
affairs, social security and justice.

Negotiations related to the improved
regulation of judicial competence and law
applicable to wills and
testaments will be pursued in an intensive manner. The
of a European instrument establishing closer cooperation in matters
of cross-border divorce and separation law (ROME III) will be

Furthermore, the drawing up of a more
effective regulation for the cross-border
execution of judicial
decisions, including via the seizure of financial assets, will
be on the agenda. The Belgian Presidency will pay particular
attention to
mediation in instances of parental kidnapping.

Asylum and migration

The creation of a common European
asylum policy founded on the respect of
fundamental rights with high
standards of protection in accordance with the
Geneva Convention and
other international instruments, remains an absolute
priority. To
achieve this objective, debate needs to be conducted in an active
manner on the conditions for the reception of asylum seekers and
standards of qualification for international protection. The
Presidency will
continue with work on the proposal by the Commission
for the extension of the
scope of application of the "long-term
residents" directive to all persons
benefitting from
international protection. The Presidency will also work on the
‚Dublin‘ regulation which determines which State is competent to
process a
request for asylum.

In terms of the development of legal
migration, and economic migration in particular, the Presidency will launch a debate on
migration within the context of the
demographic challenges faced,
and will work on new proposals concerning procedures
regulating the
entry, temporary stay and residence of Intra-Corporate Transferees
(ICTs), as well as entry and residence conditions for seasonal

Work relating to establishing a single
application procedure for a single permit for
Non-EU Member Country
nationals to reside and work in the territory of a
Member State will
be pursued as far as is possible.

The issue of unaccompanied foreign
minors and their protection constitutes one
of the priorities, with
the implementation of the plan of action approved under
the Spanish

The Belgian Presidency will ensure a
strong correlation between policy on
migration and other policies,
in particular the external policy of the Union.

Partnerships for mobility are, in this
respect, a significant instrument in achieving
extended cooperation
with third-party countries. An initial stage in this process is
establish missions for migration to third-party countries via the
migration routes.

The external dimension of the European
Area of Freedom, Security and Justice
Migration, the fight against
organised crime, human trafficking, drug trafficking or
are all issues which cannot be separated from the European Union’s
external policy. The external dimension of such questions is a key
issue for the
Belgian Presidency.

Adopted in October 2009, the
implementation of the Washington Declaration on enhancing
cooperation in the area of Freedom, Justice and
Security represents a major priority, as does regular dialogue
the Russian Federation in Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) within the
scope of the Permanent Partnership
Council. The cooperation with the
countries of the Eastern Partnership within the domain of Justice and
Affairs will be continued. The dialogue with the western Balkan
states will be pursued within the wider scope
of efforts made by
countries of the region with a view to their eventually becoming
members of the
European Union.


The Treaty of Lisbon marks a true
turning point in the organisation of the Union’s
relations. It will strengthen the coherence of our Union’s actions
and its
influence around the world. In the context of the Common
Foreign and Security
Policy, the President of the European Council
and the High Representative ensure
the representation of the
European Union on the international stage. On behalf of
the Union,
its High Representative conducts political dialogue with third
and expresses the position of the Union within
international organisations and at
international conferences. The
High Representative of the Union presides over the
Foreign Affairs
Council, including in its Defence and Development Cooperation
capacities, and calls upon the support of European External Action

In this transition period, in keeping
with its European commitment, Belgium will do
everything within its
power, including the making available of personnel, to ensure
smooth application of the new measures introduced by the Treaty in
of the President of the European Council and the High

With regard to the Common commercial
policy, coordination within the Foreign
Affairs Council will
continue to be provided by the rotating presidency.

External Policy of the Union

A new European External Action Service

For the European Union, the creation of
the European External Action Service
remains the main objective in
the second half of 2010. The recruitment of
personnel to the Service
at all levels, and the progressive transformation of the
Union’s delegations are priority tasks.

During this transition period, it will
be necessary to avoid compromising the
continuity of action and
representation of the Union. To this end, Belgian political
diplomatic personnel will once again, in a transitional manner and
under the
direct authority of the High Representative and her
services, assume support
functions on behalf of the European Union.

Strategic relationships with our

The upcoming ASEM summit, which will be
hosted by Belgium in October 2010, will
provide an opportunity for
privileged dialogue between Europe and Asia.

The partners will seek common ground on
the reform of economic and financial
governance in the wake of the
crisis and on sustainable development in particular.
The forthcoming
EU-Africa Summit will allow European and African partners to
reaffirm the strength of the Euro-African partnership and to discuss
issues of
peace and security, development, Millennium Development
Goals, as well as
climate change.

As concerns the external representation
of the Union, the Belgian Presidency
wishes to maximise the
potential of the new treaty, and to strengthen the
coherence of the
Union’s influence, without harming the shared appropriation. It
will promote the uniqueness of representation and ensure improved
and coordination.

A common security and defence policy

The implementation of the Treaty of
Lisbon in terms of a Common Security and
Defence policy will also
require special attention. Notwithstanding the progress
made in
recent years, the European Union still does not possess the civil or
military capacity to match its ambitions. Permanent Structured
Cooperation as the
European architecture for the planning and
command of crisis operations, the
capacity for rapid and coherent
reaction, including for relief operations, civilmilitary
cooperation, the training of civil and military personnel for crisis
management, the strengthening of the European Defence Agency, and
strategic relationship between the Union and NATO are among the
key themes
requiring special attention.

Development cooperation and
humanitarian aid
The Union’s efforts in terms of Development
cooperation and humanitarian aid
will also benefit from the
nomination of the High Representative, Vice-President
of the
Commission and the European External Action Service. The High
Representative who presides over the Foreign Affairs Council,
including when it
sits with the Ministers for Cooperation, is
responsible for ensuring the coherence
of the Union’s external

During the second half of 2010, the
main political summit for the EU on
development cooperation will be
the United Nations Summit on Millennium
Development Goals (MDG), to
be held in New York in September. Its aim is to
evaluate the
progress made with a view to creating MDGs, and to identify the
additional effort required in the run-up to 2015. As the major
the European Union must play a primary role in the success
of the Summit, taking
the shared responsibility of aid donors and
beneficiary countries as its guiding

In this context, the European Union
will pay particular attention to countries in a
fragile state, as
well as good governance and the respect and promotion of
and human rights. The European Union will continue its efforts to
improve the effectiveness of its development aid, and work more
specifically on
the problems of budgetary aid and accountability.

The European Union will also work on
strengthening synergies between
development and the fight against
climate change.

Recent crises, such as the Haitian
earthquake in January 2010, have demonstrated
the necessity of
improving European coordination of humanitarian aid. The
Union will also work on a mid-term review of the European Consensus
on Humanitarian Aid. Finally, a start will be made on the creation of
a European
Volunteer Corps for humanitarian aid.