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Framework programme concerning police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters (AGIS)
To establish a single framework programme for the co-financing of projects presented by promoters in the Member States and candidate countries in the areas of justice and home affairs, thereby enabling a coordinated multidisciplinary approach to the various activities relating to the creation of the area of freedom, security and justice as well as preventing and fighting organised crime in the European Union.
Council Decision 2002/630/JHA of 22 July 2002 establishing a framework programme on police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters (AGIS) [Official Journal L 203 of 01.08.2002].
At the Tampere European Council, the Member States undertook to create an area of freedom, security and justice in the European Union and to step up cooperation in preventing and fighting organised crime. As the Grotuis II - Criminal, Oisin II, Stop II, Hippocrates and Falcone programmes are due to expire on 31 December 2002, the Commission is proposing a new framework programme to run from 1 January 2003 to 31 December 2007 (this programme also includes action against drug-trafficking, in line with the 2000-2004 action programme).
The main objectives of the programme include:
- developing, implementing and evaluating European policies in connection with creating the area of freedom, security and justice and with fighting and preventing crime;
- promoting networking, mutual cooperation and the exchange of information and best practice between the competent services;
- encouraging cooperation with the applicant countries and other non-EU countries.
The projects must cover specific areas such as judicial cooperation in general and criminal matters, cooperation between law enforcement authorities and other organisations involved in preventing and fighting crime, and assistance to victims of crime.
The projects, of a maximum duration of two years and involving at least three Member States (or two Member States and one applicant country), may be submitted by public or private organisations, non-governmental organisations, research institutes, law enforcement services and associations.
The proposal is directed at the following groups:
- legal practitioners;
- officials and officers from law enforcement or victim assistance services;
- officials in other government departments;
- representatives of victim assistance services.
The following types of project, among others, may receive funding under the programme: training, exchange and placement schemes, studies and research, dissemination of the results obtained, assistance for the establishment of networks, conferences and seminars.
The Commission is responsible for the management and implementation of the programme, in cooperation with the Member States. It is also responsible for evaluating and selecting the programmes in line with a set of criteria such as: conformity with the programme's objectives, the European dimension of the project, scope for participation by the applicant countries, compatibility with work within the framework of the European Union's policy priorities on judicial cooperation in general and criminal matters, the extent to which the project complements other cooperation projects and the quality of the project in terms of its conception, organisation, presentation and expected results.
The Commission is assisted by a committee composed of the representatives of the Member States. The Committee is chaired by the representative of the Commission, which may invite representatives from the applicant countries to information meetings after the Committee's meetings.
The Commission will present to Parliament and the Council an interim evaluation of the implementation of this programme by 30 September 2005, a communication on the continuation of the programme by 30 September 2006 and a final evaluation of the entire programme by 30 June 2008.
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