14 Dec 2012

Does the Stockholm Programme matter? The Struggles over Ownership of AFSJ Multiannual Programming

Sergio Carrera / Elspeth Guild

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Does the 2009 Stockholm Programme matter? This paper addresses the controversies experienced at EU institutional levels as to ‘who’ should have ownership of the contours of the EU’s policy and legislative multiannual programming in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ) in a post-Lisbon Treaty landscape. It examines the struggles around the third multiannual programme on the AFSJ, i.e. the Stockholm Programme, and the dilemmas affecting its implementation. The latest affair to emerge relates to the lack of fulfilment by the European Commission of the commitment to provide a mid-term evaluation of the Stockholm Programme’s implementation by mid-2012, as requested by both the Council and the European Parliament.

This paper shifts the focus to a broader perspective and raises the following questions: Is the Stockholm Programme actually relevant? What do the discussions behind its implementation tell us about the new institutional dynamics affecting European integration on the AFSJ? Does the EU actually need a new (post-Stockholm) multiannual programme for the period 2015–20? And last, what role should the EP play in legislative and policy programming in order to further strengthen the democratic accountability and legitimacy of the EU’s AFSJ?

Sergio Carrera is Senior Research Fellow at the Justice and Home Affairs Section at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS). Prof. Elspeth Guild is Associate Senior Research Fellow in the same section.