FECL 34 (May 1995):

DOCUMENTS AND PUBLICATIONS

 

Mise en oeuvre de la Convention de Schengen - Rapport d'information, Belgian Senate, report of the Committee for European Affairs, Rapporteur: M. Jonckheer, 14.3.95, 1325 (1994-1995), in French and Dutch, 87 p.

This report provides a good overview, beginning with September 1993, of the long and complex preparatory phase preceding the implementation of the Schengen Agreement, and on problems remaining to be solved. The report also addresses the legal relationship between Schengen and the third pillar of the TEU. The appendix includes an account of the German Schengen Presidency from 9.11.94 on the implementation of the Schengen Agreement.

 

STATES OF INJUSTICE - A Guide to Human Rights and Civil Liberties in the European Union, by Michael Spencer, Book published by Pluto Press, London, 1995, ISBN 0 7453 0979 8 hbk; 234 p.

Michael Spencer, the author of this comprehensive guide to human rights and civil liberties in the EU, is European consultant for Liberty, the British National Council for Civil Liberties, and belongs to a European Monitoring Group set up by the British section of the International Commission of Jurists. He is well-known to our readers as a contributor to the FECL(see e.g. FECL No.29, p.1).

The book starts with a guide to the confusing decision-making structure of the Union, as amended by the Maastricht Treaty. The next chapter is on the protection of human rights in Europe. Later chapters examine particular areas of concern: measure flowing from the abolition of internal frontiers, the treatment of refugees, immigration policy, racism and discrimination, police co-operation, and data protection. The chapters explain which individual rights are covered by Community law and capable of improvement in this way, and which are currently left to the decisions of national governments. Particular attention is given to the "grey area" of matters coming under Title VI of the Maastricht Treaty. Discussion of these topics is then illustrated by "snapshots" of seven member states of the EU. The aim here is to concentrate on the special problems facing states that fall in particular broad categories: founder members, later recruits and very new members.

Throughout the book the reader will encounter words and phrases that have acquired special meanings in "Eurospeak" as a shorthand for quite complex concepts: subsidiarity, transparency, the acquis communautaire and so on, not to mention the baffling acronyms that are a Brussels speciality. All these are defined where they first occur, and the location of each definition is included in the Index.

Finally, the key issues for reform emerging from earlier chapters are summarised. Throughout the book, original references drawn from various countries are given. An Appendix lists a selection of national and international bodies which can provide more detailed information on every topic.

"Nobody need feel that they are alone in wishing for change or unable to exert any influence. The only problem is getting together to work for it", Michael Spencer stresses. He is right - and as his book shows, that there is a lot of work ahead.