Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2010-12-13-Speech-1-107"

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"Madam President, I would like to begin by thanking my fellow Members, Mrs Guillaume, Mr Ilchev, Mrs Keller, Mrs Wikström and Mr Tavares. The support they have given me has improved this report. The relevant legal bases of the proposal are Article 63(3)(b) and Article 66 of the Treaty establishing the European Community. I will stop there, Madam President, and will make further observations in the second round. I would specifically like to draw the Council’s and the Commission’s attention to the terminology. From my point of view, it would be more appropriate if we used the term ‘irregular immigration’. Up to now, clandestine immigration has been referred to as ‘illegal immigration’ in all the legislative instruments the EU has enacted. Although it is true that in some Member States, an irregular entry or stay constitutes a crime and in others, the term ‘irregular’ has no legal or semantic significance, in many other Member States, an irregular entry or stay does not constitute an unlawful act, which is why we should not generally criminalise these activities. For this reason, in the explanatory statement of the report, it is asked that the institutions revise the terminology that is used, insisting on the need to find a more precise and appropriate definition for the phenomenon of clandestine immigration. Moving on to the substance of this issue, the immigration liaison officers’ network was created by Council Regulation (EC) No 377/2004. This instrument states that the liaison officers will be representatives of a Member State posted abroad by the immigration service or other appropriate authority with the aim of establishing and maintaining contact with the authorities of the host country, aiming to contribute to the prevention and combat of clandestine immigration, the repatriation of irregular immigrants and the management of legal immigration. Since the enactment of the regulation, the Frontex Agency has been established, whose mission is to coordinate operational cooperation between Member States in the area of external border management; assist the Member States in the training of national border guards; carry out risk analyses; monitor the development of external border control and surveillance research; assist Member States in circumstances that require increased technical and operational assistance at external borders and provide them with the necessary support in the organising of joint return operations. It is evident that the important mission entrusted to Frontex could be achieved in a more efficient way if they could draw upon the knowledge and experience of the immigration liaison officers’ network, especially if we take into account the fact that the European Agency does not have offices or representatives outside EU territory. The proposed amendment to Regulation (EC) No 337/2004 aims to harness the knowledge and experience of the immigration officials for Frontex and vice versa, which was not included in the original regulation. Furthermore, the proposed amendment suggests accessing the information obtained by the liaison officers’ network through ICONet, which is a secure information and coordination network for the immigration management services of Member States, accessing the External Borders Fund to promote the creation of liaison officers’ networks and, finally, facilitating a mechanism for the presentation of reports on the activity of the network and the designation of named regions of interest in the area of immigration."@en1

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