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01 Oct 2004

Towards Closer Relationships: Requirements for More Effective JHA Cooperation in an Enlarged EU

Joanna Apap

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The requirements of good policy-making in JHA are that decision-makers have a clear mandate and that those agencies charged with policy implementation are well-managed. Who does what, who has responsibility and the lines of accountability should be clear to the public and to professional groups affected by the policies. At the most general level, the provision of a clear mandate is a constitutional question. The present pillar structure of the EU is unsatisfactory and unclear. Should the Constitutional Treaty that was politically adopted at the intergovernmental conference (IGC) on 18 June 2004 enter into force as foreseen in 2009, the pillar structure would cease to exist, the European Parliament would have a greater role in the co-decision procedure (Article III-302) and the European Court of Justice would be conferred the power to review and interpret all these policies. In the proposals for the next IGC, the pillar structure should be replaced by a simple division of powers – those reserved for the EU, those remaining exclusively with the member states and those shared by the EU and the member states in an enlarged European Union.
Whether the system is well-managed depends on the presence of high levels of trust, adequate flexibility, good coordination and efficiency in terms of cost and rapidity of response to requests for information and cooperation. Despite the complexity of the intellectual debates devoted to these concepts, communicating some ideas from these debates in language that is accessible to policy-makers is overdue.