Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2017-05-31-Speech-1-221-000"

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"Mr President, I would like to start by expressing my sincere gratitude to the Commission, the Council and all the shadow rapporteurs for their cooperation and support during this process. As I have already said, I find the Council decision once again not to include police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters in the new Multiannual Framework for the Agency to be regrettable. This is mainly for two reasons. First, I believe that from a legal point of view it is the wrong decision. Following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters have become part of European Union law and are therefore legally covered by the scope of the Agency’s tasks. The second reason is related to the evolving reality in the field of fundamental rights. Including police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters in the Multiannual Framework would better reflect the needs on the ground, by giving the Agency the right of initiative in these areas. Currently, the Agency for Fundamental Rights can act only upon request by the institutions to provide comprehensive analyses in these areas, which are of obvious relevance to fundamental rights. A change in this direction would send a very important signal, especially given the recent and ongoing legislative developments at EU level in this field. As already mentioned, this is not the first time that the Council has refused to include these areas of competence – as suggested by the Commission in its initial proposal – hiding its political will behind a legal argument. During the past month we have had a very constructive, open and transparent interinstitutional dialogue and, as rapporteur, I could not wish for a better working method. However, I would like to remind the Commission and the Council that the result achieved is not the end of the process, but actually the beginning. Tomorrow, hopefully – and I am pretty sure that this will happen – Parliament will give its consent to the Council decision and will vote on a joint motion for a resolution, which I proposed with the support of the majority of my colleagues in this House. The goal is to strengthen the opinions expressed by the Council and the Commission in their respective written statements, which were Parliament’s for giving our consent. I really appreciate the will demonstrated by both institutions to improve the working procedures for the governance and functioning of the Agency for Fundamental Rights and to clarify that the Agency’s competence also includes former third-pillar matters. However, fair interinstitutional cooperation will require additional action to be taken in the near future, starting with the Council and Commission agreement on the interpretation of the Agency’s founding regulation. Moreover, without prejudice to its right of initiative, I warmly invite the Commission, once the external evaluation of the Agency has been concluded, to present the proposal for amendments to the Agency’s regulation. This revision is necessary in order to improve the procedures for governance and for the functioning of the Agency, and to align the regulation with the Lisbon Treaty. Last but not least, I would like to thank the Agency for its good cooperation and to reiterate the importance of its work and its key role in the promotion of fundamental rights across the European Union."@de2

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