Thursday, 18 July 2013
Department of Justice and Equality
491. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will provide an update on the establishment of an internal security fund during the Irish EU Presidency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36223/13]
The Internal Security Fund is one of two funding programmes (the other being the Asylum and Migration Fund) proposed for the Home Affairs area under the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the period 2014 to 2020. The legislative basis for the Internal Security Fund comprises the following two measures:
A proposed Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing, as part of the Internal Security Fund, the instrument for financial support for police cooperation, preventing and combating crime, and crisis management. The objectives of this instrument include contributing to crime prevention, the combating of cross-border, serious and organised crime including terrorism, reinforcing coordination and cooperation between law enforcement authorities of Member States, enhancing the capacity of Member States and the Union for managing effectively security-related risks and crisis, and preparing for and protecting people and critical infrastructure against terrorist attacks and other security related incidents. (Ireland has opted into this proposed Regulation under Article 3 of Protocol 21 annexed to the Lisbon Treaty.)
A proposed Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing, as part of the Internal Security Fund, the instrument for financial support for external borders and visas. The purpose of this instrument will be to provide contributory funding at national and EU levels for the operation of Schengen border control and visa systems, thus contributing to enhanced security throughout the EU. (Ireland will not be participating in this Regulation as it is a development of aspects of the Schengen acquis in which Ireland does not participate.)
The Irish Presidency engaged extensively with the European Parliament in relation to these and other MFF dossiers and made significant progress, including securing provisional agreement on most technical aspects of the dossiers. Following the Irish Presidency's success in securing an agreement between the European Council and the European Parliament on the overall MFF package, negotiations on the individual financial breakdowns within these instruments will now take place under the Lithuanian Presidency.