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Trevi Ministers (Meeting)

Volume 115: debated on Friday 1 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about the outcome of the recent meeting of Trevi Ministers in Brussels.

Trevi Ministers met in Brussels on 28 April under the Belgian presidency. This meeting was part of the regular pattern of Trevi business and follows on from the previous meeting in London on 9 December last, under my chairmanship, and later work by officials.Ministers agreed to establish new arrangements for the exchange of information on significant thefts of arms or explosives, or discovery of arms or explosives, which might be of terrorist significance. We also approved practical arrangements whereby a Community country which refused to admit or deport a non-Community national for reasons connected with terrorism would inform other Community countries of its decision, together with identifying particulars. We further agreed to inform the European Commission of our view that any new measures to facilitate the free movement of goods within the Community should not inhibit national authorities making such checks as they thought appropriate on the movement of firearms across Community frontiers.Ministers welcomed progress towards full operation of a secure communications link between police forces, and approved plans for the regular updating of the assessment of the terrorist threat to Community countries which had been adopted at our meeting in London last December.The United Kingdom will organise and host two Trevi conferences later this year: one of directors of forensic and scientific laboratories to discuss the detection of firearms and explosives at airports; the other of national correspondents of member states dealing with the problem of football hooliganism.We agreed principles for the sharing of information and practical co-operation so that a drugs liaison officer representing one Community country in a country outside the Community could, by agreement, conduct inquiries on behalf of, and provide information to, other Community countries. More detailed arrangements will be developed further by officials.For obvious reasons, much of what Trevi discusses, especially on terrorism, cannot be made public. But this was a productive meeting which carried still further the co-operation within the Community on matters of crimes of terrorism.The growing importance of Trevi was shown by the fact that the US Attorney-General, the Canadian Solicitor-General and the Austrian Minister of the Interior came to discuss in the margins of our meeting how their countries should be associated with our work.