Naples Ii Agreement
At its last meeting, Subcommittee E decided to conduct a brief investigation into the draft convention on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, the documents of which repeatedly explicitly refer to the Naples II Convention. The subcommittee will consider the interaction between the two conventions and will not be able to conclude its work until the next meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 4 and 5 December, when political agreement is expected on the text of the Naples II Convention. I therefore expect you to retain the government`s approval of this proposal until Subcommittee E completes its current investigation. As you indicated in your letter, the Amsterdam European Council approved, earlier this year, the report of the High Level Group on Organised Crime, which contained a recommendation to finalise the text of this convention by the end of the year. The luxembourg Presidency`s efforts have been geared towards this objective and they have recently expressed their desire to sign and sign the convention on 18 December. In essence, the government is eager for this crime and drug measure to be adopted as soon as possible. This is precisely the area of activity of the EU that the government wants to promote in order to bring the EU closer to its citizens. I understand that, in the various other Member States which apply parliamentary control to the third pillar documents, the speed of the measures taken by the Presidency has forced them to make additional efforts to clarify their monitoring processes more quickly than would normally be the case. It is likely that the United Kingdom, if it is not able to complete its review process before 18 December, will have to block the signing of this convention. Such a bloc would be particularly regrettable if our own EU Presidency were about to start.
It is possible to wrongly assume that the United Kingdom deliberately obstructed the agreement to claim loans during its own presidency, which could lead to a loss of goodwill that would complicate our conduct of a successful presidency. 1. This note is accompanied by a draft convention on mutual assistance and cooperation between the customs administrations of the European Union (Naples II). Discussions on a new convention began in 1992. The first proposals of the convention were submitted for a Customs Information System (IDS), which were subsequently withdrawn and adopted as part of a separate convention. On 8 March 1994, an explanation of the CIS convention was presented to Parliament, while the agreement itself was signed by the Cannes Council in June 1996. Following the agreement on the CIS Convention, work on the draft Naples II Convention resumed. I note that your explanatory statement indicates that a political agreement can be reached on this issue at the Justice and Home Affairs Council held in early December. The delay in submitting this document for consideration is inexplicable, given that the Luxembourg Presidency`s work programme for the competent steering group of the third pillar, sent by the Ministry of the Interior to the special committee on 24 July, referred to the ongoing work on this measure.