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End national vetoes in cross-border crime-fighting, Brussels urges

brussels bureau

End national vetoes in cross-border crime-fighting, Brussels urges


Complaining that national vetoes are holding back the fight against crime in Europe, the EU executive body has called for these vetoes not to be used any longer in matters of cross-border police and justice cooperation. Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said past projects had foundered on the resistance of just one or two of the bloc’s 25 members. “The Member States can not and should not proclaim some goals without giving us the means to achieve those goals.”

Progress in creating common EU crime-fighting policies has been slow despite acceptance by national governments since the terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001, on Madrid in 2004 and London last year. Barroso said he hoped EU justice and interior ministers would study the idea at a meeting in Finland in September.

EU Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini pointed out promising movement. He said: “Four or five countries have taken a good initiative, forming a pilot group in the exchange of criminal records. After showing the value it adds to the EU, the project is open to other Member States.”

Frattini also produced a “scoreboard” showing the failure of EU states to transpose EU measures into national law. He noted, for example, that only Austria, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Spain had applied EU guidelines aimed at tackling sexual exploitation of children and child pornography.

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