Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
You are here: Home topics EU law Commission plan to deliver justice, freedom and security to citizens

Commission plan to deliver justice, freedom and security to citizens

21 April 2010
by Ina Dimireva -- last modified 22 April 2010

European leaders endorsed 170 initiatives last December known as the Stockholm Programme. The measures are aimed at creating a genuine European area of freedom, security and justice in the next five years. The Commission has now turned these political objectives into an action plan for 2010-2014.


Why is the Commission adopting this plan?

The European Council of 10-11 December 2009 adopted the Stockholm Programme, a comprehensive framework for EU actions on citizenship, justice, security, asylum and immigration policies for the next five years. This Programme contained 170 initiatives. To focus efforts and to translate these political objectives into concrete proposals, the Commission selected a number of key actions – with clear timetables – for adoption between 2010 and 2014.

The EU is facing increasing threats from organised and cross-border criminals, who are taking advantage of the EU's Single Market and border-free area. Traffickers in arms, drugs and human beings will face tougher measures. At the same time, there can be no security without justice. The rights and integrity of individuals will be further safeguarded: from the protection of personal data and privacy to the support of crime victims, suspects in criminal proceedings, migrants' rights and a legally secure and transparent asylum system.

The action plan is focused on citizens and ensuring that they can fully exercise their rights and benefit from European integration. Security, justice and fundamental rights issues are treated in a coherent approach to meet current and future challenges.

What is the procedure now?

The Commission plan should be politically endorsed by the European Parliament and the Council.

According to the Lisbon Treaty, the Commission will work with the European Parliament, the Council and EU governments and parliaments to adopt the measures in the plan. Under the Lisbon Treaty, most justice and home affairs policies will be proposed by the Commission and approved by both the European Parliament and the Council, with the latter voting by qualified majority instead of unanimity, which will streamline the decision-making process.

When will there be concrete results of the plan?

The plan provides a clear timetable for adoption and implementation of the measures. The goal is to implement the measures before the end of 2014.

Several initatives have already been taken. The Commission has, for example, proposed measures to help citizens and to boost security, including the strengthening the European agency for border control, Frontex, and adopting a proposal to allow international couples to choose the applicable law for a divorce.

How does the plan affect EU citizens’ daily lives?

The Commission’s action plan will help EU citizens when they exercise their right to live, work, study or travel outside their home countries. Administrative burdens will be reduced by easing recognition of official documents. It also deals with data protection, children’s rights, racism, violence against women, migration and asylum. It addresses everyday security threats and safety concerns: cybercrime, identity theft, smuggling, customs issues, unaccompanied minors, trafficking in human beings and the sexual exploitation of children. These problems affect all Member States and require a pan-European approach.

The plan includes 10 initiatives to bring more security to Europeans and a responsible answer to migration.

In the justice, fundamental rights and citizenship area, the Commission plan includes 10 concrete actions to help Europeans work, study and travel in the EU and to support economic activity in the Single Market.

Source: European Commission

Sponsor a Guide

EUbusiness Guides offer background information and web links about key EU business issues.

Promote your services by providing your own practical information and help to EUbusiness members, with your brand and contact details.

To sponsor a Guide phone us on +44 (0)20 7193 7242 or email sales.

EU Guides