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Trevi And Immigration Ministers

Volume 201: debated on Friday 20 December 1991

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about the meetings of Trevi and European Community Immigration Ministers in The Hague on 2 and 3 December.

The meeting of Ministers concerned with immigration was the 11 th in the series of meetings held towards the end of each presidency since 1986. The Minister of State, my right hon. Friend the Member for Oxford, West and Abingdon (Mr. Patten), attended on my behalf.Immigration Ministers approved a report for submission to the European Council on the harmonisation of immigration and asylum policies, as requested at the Luxembourg European Council. The report contained a detailed work programme for implementation over the next few years. The report made by Immigration Ministers has subsequently been endorsed by the European Council meeting at Maastricht.In the asylum field, Ministers agreed that every effort should be made to ensure ratification of the Dublin convention by the end of 1992 at the latest.Ministers also agreed that everything possible should be done to resolve the outstanding problem (concerning Gibraltar) which has prevented signature of the draft external frontiers convention.

The meeting of Trevi Ministers endorsed measures to strengthen practical police co-operation. These include: the establishment of national contact points for public order matters; guidelines having the aim of strengthening the mutual assistance in criminal cases; recommendations on the controlled delivery of drugs; and police co-operation in common frontier zones. The Ministers agreed to submit a report to the European Council, prepared by the ad hoc working group chaired by the United Kingdom, recommending the establishment of a central European criminal investigation office, "Europol", with a drugs unit as its first stage. Ministers also agreed, at the United Kingdom's suggestion, that car crime be placed on Trevi's agenda and that the United Kingdom should convene an ad hoc seminar of experts on this subject during the Portuguese presidency.