Ambassador of Poland to the European Union
"PROBLEMS CONCERNING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS
ACQUIS BY THE CANDIDATE COUNTRIES: A POLISH VIEW"
Closing Lecture in the Cicero Foundation Great Debate seminar on "Justice
and Home Affairs - How to Implement the Amsterdam Treaty?", PARIS, 13-14 April
PART I - INTRODUCTION
Poland presented its application for membership in the European Union on 5
April 1994, a year after the European Council in Copenhagen (June 1993) formulated
the member criteria for the applicant countries. Having in mind the subject
which is discussed today, the most important for the candidate country is to
achieve stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human
rights and respect for protection of minorities. These criteria can be understood
as the general requirements of Justice and Home Affairs.
The co-operation between associated countries and the European Union in the
field of Justice and Home Affairs was mentioned for the first time in December
1993 in the letter addressed to the President of the European Council, Mr. Willy
Claes, by the British and Italian Ministers of Foreign Affairs, respectively
Douglas Hurd and Beniamino Andreatta. The goal of the so called "Hurd-Andreatta
initiative", as well as of the second letter of foreign ministers (Hurd/Martino
letter) from July 1994, was to strengthen and constantly intensify political
dialogue with the associated countries under the conditions laid down in the
conclusions of the Copenhagen European Council. The ministers proposed "to
develop new links between the associated countries and the work of the two intergovernmental
pillars of Maastricht, on CFSP and Justice/Home Affairs".
The Ministerial Conference on Drugs and Organised Crime in Berlin on 8 September
1994 was a very important initial step, convened at the recommendation of the
European Council of Corfu. It was the first time that the ministers of Justice
and Home Affairs from the Central and Eastern European countries were invited
to meet their colleagues from the EU and the associated countries. The common
declaration adopted at the conference sets out the common priorities and emphasises
the necessity of co-operation both with regard to the prospect of accession
by the associated countries to the EU and the new challenges emerging in Europe
(transfrontier organised crime, increased illegal manufacturing and traffic
of psychotropic substances). The co-operation was focused on combating following
serious forms of crime: illicit drug traffic and nuclear crime, traffic in human
beings, illegal immigration networks, illegal transfer of motor vehicles and
the crime of money laundering in connection with these forms of crime.
Co-operation between Poland and the European Union in the Justice and Home
Affairs area acquired a new dimension when Poland applied for membership of
the EU (8 April 1994). From that time Poland developed the structures in its
ministries as well as co-ordinating body (similar to those existing in some
of the member states) and increased the co-operation with the EU institutions.
The period between 1994 and the beginning of the negotiations has been marked
by a number of initiatives and important documents. Let me indicate some of
- Poland's expectations for integration with the EU (1994);
- The Final Declaration of the Ministers of Home Affairs of the Weimar Triangle
- The response to the British-Italian initiative (Hurd-Andreatta letter), with
the list of possible fields of co-operation (995);
- The Joint Position on the co-operation between the associated countries and
the EU member states and institutions in the area of JHA (1995);
- The Polish Position Paper on co-operation with the EU in the field of JHA
- The Questionnaire of the European Commission: information requested for the
preparation of the opinion (AVIS) on the application for membership of the EU.
The Polish answer showing the picture of home policy in Poland, the present
legal and administrative structure, etc;
- The National Strategy of Integration (1997) - Part V of the document describes
the scope and tried to draw up the program of the necessary steps in the way
to accession in the JHA area;
- The Memorandum of the Polish Government on the modernisation of the infrastructure
at the borders (1997).
The structural solution of the internal co-ordination was as follows:
- An Inter-Ministry body composed of representatives of the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice - at deputy level;
- Operational Co-ordinators (MFA, MI, MJ);
- A Contact Point in the Mission of Poland to the EU.
Between 1994 and 1998 a number of meetings with the EU took place on different
ministerial, under-secretary and expert level. They have given the occasion
to deepen the mutual understanding of the legal bases and institutional framework
of JHA and identify the most important issues to be fulfilled due to the requirements
of JHA acquis. In 1996 the ministers of Justice and Home Affairs have authorised
the European Commission to examine the perspectives and possibilities of the
co-operation with associated countries in the Third Pillar area. The Commission
has sent Anthony Langdon, as its expert, to study the situation in Poland and
in some other associated countries. His report was a kind of systematic description
of the situation in our country, from the legal and practical point of view.
The report consisted of a hierarchical list of priorities to be done by the
candidates: mechanisms of border control, fight against illegal migration, asylum
policy, drugs policy, training and technical support for police and other services.
The European Commission has received in this way a peculiar guidebook with the
indications of the main needs for support of the initiatives in the JHA field
(bilateral co-operation, Phare Cross Border, horizontal programs).
This evaluation has proved that Poland was ready to implement the EU standards
and that in some fields existed a high level of convergence with the acquis
in the area of Third Pillar co-operation.
In 1997 the European Commission, according to Article O of the Maastricht Treaty,
presented its opinion on the Polish application. We can find there that "Poland's
political institutions function properly and in conditions of stability. Efforts
to improve the operation of the judicial system and to intensify the fight against
corruption will need to be sustained".
Poland has no major problems concerning the respect for fundamental rights.
Poland presents the characteristics of a democracy, with stable institutions
guaranteeing the rule of law, human rights* and respect for and protection of
minorities. Poland joined the Council of Europe in 1991 and has ratified the
most important instruments concerning human rights. The Constitution provides
for an independent judiciary according to the rule of law.
Because of its geographical position (bordering the EU, several Associated
countries and the NIS - New Independent States) its size and difficulties in
the reform process of main fields, Poland is facing some significant challenges
in the JHA sector. Poland has begun to take major steps to tackle them. Most
part of the necessary domestic legislation and international conventions are
implemented, but important work still needs to be carried out on data protection
and issues such as aliens law. Polish visa policy towards the NIS is a matter
of concern, the Opinion mentioned.
Institutional reform in JHA area is well under way and significant progress
has been made, but there is still a need to upgrade the capacity of the Polish
institutions measuring up to the tasks of the JHA acquis. The size and geographical
position of Poland at a cross-roads of migratory and trade flows in Central
Europe poses a particular challenge.
That was the situation evaluated in 1997. The final conclusion was that Poland
is facing significant challenges in the JHA field, particularly concerning drugs,
border management, migration and transnational crime. Provided that continuing
efforts are made to improve the situation Poland could be able to meet the Justice
and Home Affairs acquis (present and future) in the next few years.
Experts' Mission 1998
The general Justice and Home affairs experts' mission took place in June 1998.
The objective of this mission was to create an in-depth analytical paper elaborating
on the current state of JHA in Poland. The Mission has had as a task not only
to indicate the gaps or weaknesses in the Polish law or institutional and technical
infrastructure, but also to assist in the strategic planning of Phare financing.
The general conclusions were as follows:
1. In the field of asylum and migration - although the institutional framework
is in place - communication and collaboration between the different authorities
handling asylum and migration should be improved, as well as some definitions
of legal concepts within the legislation. Visa policy is problematic, due to
the sensitive nature of relations with Eastern neighbours.
2. As regards Border Management, the Polish border checking operation is not
yet in line with the requirements of the Schengen acquis. However the structure
of the Border Guard is quite effective, as well as the equipment is satisfactory
in some areas (some improvement is necessary, particularly in computer equipment).
Co-operation with neighbouring countries is on a satisfactory level.
3. Regarding Police, the Polish Law on Police is in line with EU legislation.
However, the structure of the police organisation should be simplified for more
effective management and communication. An important problem is the budget of
the Police. In the field of Organised Crime the situation is not yet under control,
although the authorities have the will and the technical potential to improve
it. Money laundering is the significant problem.
4. Concerning the Judiciary, there is the need to make progress in equipment,
training, linguistic skills, and administrative effectiveness.
The report was a first horizontal, detailed evaluation which gave a first view
of the work to be done in the future. It became one of the instruments to elaborate
priorities for the Polish administration and to indicate the most sensitive
sectors where the financial support should be aimed at.
PART II - CHALLENGES
Accession Partnership and The National Programme of Preparation for Membership
Two new instruments - the Accession Partnership and its Polish equivalent,
the National Programme of Preparation for Membership - are important components
of the general strategy on the way to membership. Accession Partnership recommends
to make an effort in all areas identified in the Opinion. In the JHA sector
the most important is not only approximation of the legislation, but in the
same time the real implementation of EU standards. Therefore the Accession Partnership
and the National Program of Preparation for Membership define every year short
and medium term priorities to be realised by the Polish administration.
The Accession Partnership indicates as short term priorities:
- the adoption and implementation of the national integrated inter-agency border
management strategy with particular attention to the budgetary requirements
of the eastern border;
- a strengthening of the national co-ordination body for all law enforcement
services at central, regional and local level;
- the upgrading of institutional capacity regarding the fight against organised
crime and drug trafficking;
- the implementation of anti-corruption and anti-fraud programmes;
- a strengthening of the capacity to deal with money laundering.
Medium term priorities are:
- to further upgrade the law enforcement bodies and the judiciary (staff numbers,
training and equipment), in particular concerning border control and illegal
immigration, to enable full participation in the Schengen Information System,
to ensure better co-ordination between law enforcement bodies,n as well as the
continuation of the fight against organised crime, trafficking in women and
children, drug trafficking and corruption,
- continuing progressive alignment of visa legislation and practice with that
- strengthening of police co-operation mechanisms with Europol in the fight
against organised crime,
- aligning of legislation and administrative capacity for implementation of
the asylum and migration acquis, for full reciprocal co-operation with the EU,
- implementation of the integrated border strategy.
Having embraced the priorities of the "Accession Partnership" and acting in
accordance with those projected by the National Programme of Preparations for
Membership of the European Union, Poland attaches particular importance to matters
of the Third Pillar. In this connection, actions are now being conducted to
commit Poland fully - at latest upon the country's accession to the EU - to
co-operation with the other member states in all aspects of Justice and Home
Affairs. The actions in question focus on the harmonisation of Poland's visa
regime with that of the EU, on ensuring the functioning of a secured border
- especially in the East, which will become the external border of the Union
- creating a watertight immigrant control system, combating organised crime
and drug trafficking, and on effective judicial co-operation, including mutual
recognition of court rulings in civil and criminal cases.
The Regular Report of 1998
In its Opinion of July 1997 the Commission drew attention to the challenges
facing Poland on drugs, border control, immigration and international crime.
One of the short-term priorities in the Accession Partnership was better border
control, particularly with Belarus and Ukraine, and alignment on the EU's visa
arrangements. Progress has been recorded in both these areas.
Broadly speaking, Poland has made progress in most areas since the Commission's
Opinion. The exception is the fight against drugs, where a great deal of effort
still needs to be made.
To achieve the Partnership's medium-term objectives, however, these gains,
where they take the form of adoption of legislation, need to be followed up
swiftly by implementing provisions (e.g. the data protection act and the aliens
act), better administrative organisation and additional resources, particularly
in the area of asylum and organised crime.
The Regular Report of 1999
In 1999 the Commission reproached the Polish administration that only very
modest progress has been made in terms of legislative efforts over the last
year in JHA and in general terms. But in 1999 Poland has begun four large national
reforms - administrative, health, national insurance, education. Nevertheless
the Commission indicates that Poland needs to address bigger effort in the short
term in particular the comprehensive reform of the legislation on foreigners
(admission requirements), visa policy, conclusion of re-admission agreements.
Further efforts are required to ensure a more active policy in the fight against
drugs. The internal organisations of the law enforcement bodies and the judiciary
require considerable improvement. Human and financial resources and equipment
should be improved. Particular attention should be paid to develop capacity
for international co-operation, both within law enforcement and the judiciary.
As regards the implementation, the European Commission estimated that progress
has been achieved by the Border Guard, especially in respect of the joint work
with Germany on the common border. However, in the absence of any strategic
overall plan for bringing the Eastern border up to the level of a future external
EU border it is not currently possible to estimate when this can be achieved.
The Co-operation Between the EU and Poland: Common Instruments
Seven years of bilateral relations between Poland and the EU (as well as with
other associated countries) show, in my opinion, a moderation from the EU partners'
side concerning the active development of legal instruments to deepen the co-operation
with the candidates. Poland several times submittedproposals concerning the
creation of more institutionalised framework of co-operation in the Third Pillar
area, in different forms: association (case of Schengen), parallel instruments
to the EU ones (ex. of EU conventions which are only open for the member-states),
active participation in the Title VI programmes (Odysseus, Grotius, Falcone,
Very recently the Council of EU Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs took
a decision on the mandate for Europol to negotiate the bilateral agreements
with third countries. Poland has been ready to co-operate on a formal basis
from the beginning of Europol's activity. It happens too often that procedural
obstacles decrease the effectiveness of the co-operation in a field, that is
one of the EU's major priorities.
On the other hand it would be unfair not to show positive examples.
Poland participates in the framework of an informal forum for information and
consultation on matters related to asylum - CIREA - as well as in a forum for
immigration and frontiers - CIREFI . Both facilitate co-ordination and harmonisation
of asylum policies and practice, exchange of information about migration situations
and tendencies. However, that is an example of co-operation which could be deepened.
CIREA and CIREFI are bodies without any decision-making power. It is only a
useful exchange of information and experiences, because of their multi-country
character. That's why we consider that full participation of the candidates
is fully justified. The present model - one meeting each presidency - leaves
the impression of a one way flow of information.
* * *
The Pre-Accession Pact on Organised Crime is one of the most important common
instruments. The origin of the Pact derives from the Action Plan endorsed by
the Amsterdam European Council (June 1997) which has been the Union's response
to the challenge posed by the global growth of organised crime. Recommendation
No.3 of the Action Plan indicated the necessity of working out a common instrument
aiming at approximation of actions preparing associated countries for accession.
The Pre-Accession Pact, signed on 28 of May 1998, gives the political "green
light" to start more effective co-operation. The Pact underlines the threats
resulting from organised crime, as well as the significance of a practical co-operation
to fight its symptoms. As necessary components to make this co-operation possible,
the document draws attention to a number of internal and international conditions
which should be fulfilled:
- an efficiently structured police administration, with powers of action, trained
staff and technical equipment;
- a suitably empowered justice system, operating on the basis of modern substantive
and procedural standards;
- a practical ability of the law enforcement authorities to combat organised
crime, including drugs crime and international arms trafficking, preventing
- sufficient means of prevention in the fight against drug abuse
- ratification of at least a part of the instruments (as specified in Recommendation
No. 13 of the Action Plan):
* The European Convention on Extradition (Paris 1997);
* The Protocol to he European Convention on Mutual Assistance in
Criminal Matters (Strasbourg, 1978);
* The Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation
of the Proceeds from Crime (Strasbourg 1990);
* The Convention on the Fight against illicit Traffic in Narcotic
Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Vienna, 1988);
* The European Convention on Suppression of Terrorism (Strasbourg,
All these elements exist and are operational in Poland. Poland is ready to
co-operate in all forums on the basis of functioning legal instruments and services.
Of course there is a lot of work to be done. There is not sufficient technical
equipment, there are not sufficient law enforcement instruments, there is a
not sufficient level of efficiency of the judiciary (all our countries meet
the same problems) - mozliwa dygresja nt. studium przeprowadzonego przez
jeden z uniwersytetów amsterdamskich na temat wydolnosci sadów w pįnstwach czlonkowskich
I kandydujacych, o którym wspominal Pan Ambasador.
Formally the Pre-Accession Pact provides the intensification of co-operation
for example with Europol or Title VI programmes, as instruments which can play
a key role in the co-operation leading to the effective fight against organised
crime. In practice, very often, it does not happen as there is not enough determination
of the Union.
It is probably too early to evaluate the Pact. It is undoubtedly an important
political instrument which, however, could be better used as the legal base
for institutionalisation of our co-operation.
We are looking forward to the next Pre-Accession Pact Expert Group meeting
which, after one year of silence (it is the task of Presidency to initiate and
organise meetings), will take place in May 2000.
The Screening Process and the Polish Position Paper for JHA Negotiations
The screening took place in March 1999. This exercise was focused on the legal
instruments concerning visas, based on First Pillar provisions and on the framework
for co-operation, set out in Title VI (Article K) of the Treaty on European
Union (Third Pillar) and consisted of the presentation of the national legislation
in the matter. The explanatory session of the EU questions and Polish answers
facilitated the overall review of the stage of readiness of Poland to fulfil
the obligations of the acquis. The screening has been a preparatory stage before
the presentation of the Polish position paper which was presented to the European
Union on 14 October 1999. Generally Poland accepts the acquis, including the
Schengen acquis and does not intend to request any transitional arrangements.
However, there are some instruments to which Poland will not accede because
of its invisible usefulness (lack of ratification) among Member States. It concerns
the European Convention on the international validity of criminal judgements
(The Hague, 1970), the European Convention on the transfer of proceedings in
criminal matters (Strasbourg, 1972) and the Agreement on illicit traffic by
sea, adopted in Strasbourg on 31 January 1995, implementing Article 17 of the
UN Convention against the illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic
substances (ratified only by 2 countries).
Poland is ready to undertake the necessary measures aimed at full implementation
and application of the acquis into the internal legal system before the working
date of accession to the EU - 1 January 2003 - due to the harmonisation schedule
included in the Accession Partnership.
|* Permit for
|* Permit for
(up to 2 years, may be renewed )
||by the Aliens
||(entered into force 27.12.1997)
|* Permit for
||by the Aliens
||(entered into force 27.12.1997)
The presented data reflect a growing number of immigrants. One of the interesting
phenomena observed in the 90's, especially in the first half, was the significant
growth of returning nationals. Also, according to the statistics, the number
of departing Poles has remained much lower than the number of arriving foreigners.
The National Labour Office has signalled a growing irregular work of citizens
coming from the Western European countries (Germany, France and the Netherlands)
- in most cases in connection with large investment projects in wholesale trade
and supermarket chains. In the north-western part of Poland occasional irregular
work is also relatively common among German citizens who live in the neighbouring
land of Brandenburg and Mecklenburg. The strongest demand on the part of employers
is for labour prepared to perform 3-D jobs (dirty-difficult-dangerous).
In 1998 and 1999, thanks to new legal instruments and more effective police
activity, there has been symptoms of a decline in illegal entries to Poland.
Poland is in the final stage to adopt the uniform EU migration and asylum policy.
The Aliens Act in force from 27 December 1997 was a milestone in that process.
The Act regulates entry, residence and work in Poland. It stipulates that aliens
have the same rights as Polish citizens. It further aims at laying the foundation
for a single and cohesive immigration policy vis-ą-vis foreigners, while making
sure that their rights are protected. It lays down the principles and procedures
concerning the issuing of visas for foreigners, invitations to aliens wishing
to enter Poland, residence permits for set periods and permanent residence permits,
travel documents and temporary travel documents, awarding the refugee status,
political asylum, expulsion of aliens from the territory of the Republic of
Poland, the registers of aliens undesirable in Poland, registers of the aforesaid
invitations, and other records, registers and rolls provided for by the Act.
The law extracts more effectiveness from the law enforcement agencies in their
struggle with illegal immigration and illegal stays of aliens in Poland. It
provides legal regulations enabling free development of tourism and encouraging
unrestricted business travel, while equipping state organs with powers of counteracting
the influx of unwelcome foreigners. An amendment of the Aliens Act is foreseen
for adoption in autumn 2000 - which will allow the full compatibility with the
acquis communautaire by the end of 2002.
In order to adjust the Polish visa policy to the acquis communautaire (EC Regulation
no. 574/1999 determining the third countries whose nationals must be in possession
of visas when crossing the external borders of the Member State) it is necessary
to introduce an obligation to obtain a visa for citizens of a number of countries
where Poland has free visa agreements. There are in most cases technical problems,
but in two cases - Russia and Ukraine - highly political ones. Despite this
Poland declares, according to the detailed schedule drawn in the NPAA, the full
conformity with the acquis by the day of accession.
There is still a need to amend the Act of Aliens which is envisaged in the
second part of the year (more details here below).
Border protection, as well as organisation and execution of border traffic
control are the tasks of the Border Guard - a homogeneous, uniformed and armed
police type formation. Customs control is carried out by the customs services
that operate under the Ministry of Finance. Two hundred and forty border crossings
(of all types, including airports) exist presently in Poland. By the end of
2002 about 20 new ones will be established on the eastern border. About 15.000
border guards are employed out of close to 19.000 available posts.
Poland has bilateral agreements on border co-operation with all its neighbouring
countries. There are joint patrols and joint border checks with Germany. This
co-operation includes exchange of information on a daily basis, common training
and exchange of liasion officers. Poland constantly develops co-operation with
other countries: the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Ukraine. After a very difficult
period in 1995-1997, due to the efforts of the Lithuanian authorities, the situation
on the Polish - Lithuanian border from 1998 on improved and has contributed
to the decrease of cross-border crime related to illegal migration.
The main risks existing in Poland are: organised forms of smuggling goods -
primarily alcohol and cigarettes -, smuggling of stolen cars, and illegal migration
of citizens of African and Asian countries with the intention to reach Western
The number of persons detained for illegal border crossing fell down:
- with Russia: 66 in 1998; 17 during the
first six months 1999;
- with Lithuania: 457 in 1997; 341 in 1998; 26 during the
first six months 1999;
- with Belarus: 109 in 1998; 32 during the six first
- with Ukraine: 436 in 1998; 167 during the six first
- with Slovakia: 747 in 1998; 217 during the six first
Taking into account the persons detained for crossing the Polish state border
in violation of applicable regulations, all figures show a decline - from 1%
(Slovakia) to 77% (Belarus) - except an 38% increase (Ukraine). As smuggling
of goods (excluding cars) is concerned, the total decline in 1999 in comparison
to 1998 is 31%.
There are, of course, not final and satisfactory results, but all the efforts
made by the border administration and services, the constant increase of technical
equipment and integrated policy of the border management illustrate the positive
Strategy on Integrated Border Management
The Strategy is an answer tot he expectations formulated by the EU towards
the candidates. The basic objective of the Strategy is to determine the tasks
which are indispensable for the Polish Eastern border to become the external
border of the EU by 31 December 2002.
The perspective of Poland's accession to the EU within three years calls for
a strategic and systematic attitude towards the problem of management of the
future external border. The Strategy also maps out the most important tasks
connected with shifting of the customs clearance to the future external border
of the Union.
After Poland's accession, the Polish - German border will become an internal
one. If Poland and the Czech Republic accede the EU at the same time, then also
this border will have an internal character. The external border will consist
of the present Polish-Slovak, Polish-Ukrainian, Polish -Byelorussian, Polish-Lithuanian
and Polish-Russian (Kallinigrad). Two of them - with Slovakia and Lithuania
- will sooner or later also become internal ones. All these aspects should determine
the level and directions of investment projects co-financed by the EU.
While protecting an external border of the Union, Poland will have to guarantee
a proper protection against an undesirable flow of persons and goods and, at
the same time, maintain good relations with the neighbouring states staying
outside the EU.
The strategy is the first horizontal construction, involving all the interested
parties, services and administrations to achieve the goals mentioned above.
It contains the description of detailed tasks and responsibilities, defines
roles with respect to the structural border management, main targets (what has
to be attended in order to be able to operate fully within EU structures) and
finally their indirect objectives.
The Strategy defines the principles of planning and allocation of funds for
the establishment of the border infrastructure, describes and prospects cross-border
and regional co-operation with all neighbours.
The Strategy has been presented, as a draft, to the European Commission in
February 2000 and, I may say, it was highly appreciated, what has not been very
often the case in our relations with the Union in the JHA area. The final version
of the Strategy will be approved by the Polish Government soon.
After the incorporation of the Schengen acquis into the EU framework (partly
into the acquis communautaire; partly into the Third Pillar), the practical
terms of this acquis became unclear for the candidate states. Before Amsterdam
(The Treaty entered into force May, 1st, 1999), the Schengen co-operation was
a sort of "co-operation reinforce". Based on the new Treaty in force - except
for Great Britain and Ireland, which have special protocols providing them the
possibility to stay outside the system - it is an obligation for all member
states. But the experience of Greece, Austria, Sweden or Finland shows that
the evaluation process made by the Schengen Evaluation Group can even take years.
We are still waiting for a clear position of the EU. Independently of the EU
position regarding the procedure of implementing the Schengen acquis, Poland
wants to fulfil all the obligations as soon as possible.
Polish reforms and adaptations are under way with the important assistance
of Phare. The new Phare 2000 programme worked out by the Polish Border Guard
is focused on the upgrading of the equipment (computers, software, etc) and
the installation of the appropriate communication systems. It will create a
Polish eastern border which is fully operational in terms of the Schengen requirements.
Poland, as it was already mentioned, will adjust the legislation concerning
the visa regime and amend the Act of Aliens to be fully in accordance with the
Schengen requirements (Schengen Agreement, Convention Implementing the Schengen
Agreement). According to the draft, the new law provides: the creation of the
Repatriation and Aliens Office, responsible for all administrative actions towards
foreigners, measures concerning rights and obligations for aliens, measures
treating family reunification, introduction of airport transit visa, the creation
of a National Information System (the future base for NSIS). The new Act of
Aliens will introduce a unified format of visa, according to the Council Regulation
from 29 May 1995.
All proposed modifications extend the rights for aliens coming in and staying
in the territory of Poland by a number of institutional and administrative instruments.
The new system will be simplified, more effective and fully compatible with
Organised Crime, Drugs, Police Co-operation
It is true that organised crime has grown significantly since 1989, especially
in the fields of economic crime, drug trafficking and production, counterfeiting,
illegal trade in arms, trafficking in women, stolen cars, money laundering and
The Polish legislations are largely convergent with the EU acquis in the area.
We expect a fast conclusion of the agreement with Europol which is possible
after the decision of the JHA Council meeting on 27 March 2000.
In the same time Poland is a party to the all international conventions and
participates in all international activities in the fight against crime. Our
domestic legal and institutional framework against drugs has been reformed,
including the National Drugs Prevention Programme and Information System and
new legislative measures including controlled deliveries and an overall law
covering drug prevention. Since January 1999, when the reform of administration
entered into force, the services for combating organised crime and drug enforcement
services have been centralised and subordinated to the Police Chief Commander.
They carry out their duties through regional offices, also included into the
centralised structure. This enabled more efficient operation and investigation
work in cases related to drugs and those related to combating organised crime
exceeding regional or national borders
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration currently works on agreements
to be concluded by Poland and European Union member states on police co-operation
in combating organised crime and drug trafficking. By now the agreement with
Germany and the Memorandum of Understanding with Italy have been signed. The
agreements with Belgium, Austria, Ireland, Spain and Finland are still in preparation.
From the date of accession Poland will implement the regulations of Schengen
related to police co-operation, including regulations connected with cross-border
surveillance and cross-border hot pursuit.
Preventing the Theft of Cars
The economic transformation of Poland and the opening in 1990 of the borders
triggered a tumultuous growth of a car market in Poland. There was a sudden
rise in the numbers of new cars and new drivers. The large number of vehicle
registration offices and the lack of adequate safeguards have created conditions
for thefts and forgeries of vehicle registration documents and driving licenses.
The Polish car market has also become a conduit for cars stolen in European
countries. Local data bases and the absence of an adequate central computer
system have precluded efficient controls, which was the reason of a rise in
customs, treasury and insurance fraud. A number of projects embarked upon now,
aims at amending existing laws and implementing a new system of vehicle registration
and driver licensing and record-keeping. Central records run in the form of
computerised registers are a very important element of the system. The computer
systems operating these registers will improve the work of registration offices
which will be handling both drivers and vehicle owners more efficiently.
Statistics of Stolen Cars.
Poland notes the high increase of this phenomenon: 29% between 1996 and 1998.
In most European countries there is a decrease in this field. But if we compare
the number of stolen cars by 100.000 habitants, the Polish figure is 158,2.
The figures of France (appr. 550) and the Czech Republic (approx.280) are higher.
* * *
All the measures undertaken by Poland converge with a general European tendency
to increase all possible actions against crime. Analysing statistical data,
Poland as a big country faces the problem of crime: in some fields decreasing,
in others increasing. But contrary to common opinion Poland does not seem to
be a source of all dangers connected with crime or one of its biggest exporters.
Taking into account the general number of committed crimes for 100.00 habitants
Poland - with 2776,3 crimes (1998) - is in the group with the lowest
crime rate - in contrast to Sweden (13.518,51), England and Wales (8945,6),
Germany (7867,6), Hungary (5917,4), and the Czech Republic (4196,3). Less positive
is the growth rate of crime: 19% between 1996 - 1998. Only in Hungary this figure
was higher: 28,7%. In other European countries it was around 1%.
Poland is situated somewhere in the middle - with 2,8 assassinations by 100.000
habitants. Italy : 4,4; Hungary: 4,3; France: 3,6; Germany: 3,5. The detection
of criminals of homicide is comparable - from 97 to 85% (Poland 85,3%,
France - 82,7%). Only in Italy this indicator is significantly low: 65,1%.
The number of robberies, assaults and violations is increasing. In 1998
Poland noted 88,5 of these crimes by 100.000 habitants (France: 143,8; Germany:
78,4; Italy: 65; Hungary: only 10,1). The positive side in the Polish case is
a radical increase of detection between 1996-1998: from 51 to 59,6%.
The figure for burglary in Poland is 918,9 for 100.00 inhabitants. (Germany:
1506,8; Austria: 1011,3; France: 975,5). Poland notes the highest level of detection
in this field: 25%.
Most of the countries meet the problem of an increasing number of crimes remlated
to drugs (1996-1998), especially in Hungary (increase by 340%); Poland (142%).
The leading countries for this kind of crime are Germany and Austria (close
to 200 crimes/100.000 habitants); France (150), Italy (70), Poland (42,5).
The Fight Against and the Prevention of Money Laundering
At the beginning of 80's, West European countries initiated and continued a
broad process of building a uniform system aimed at conducting methodical and,
to a maximum extent, effective fight against crime of a financial nature.
By signing the Europe Agreement in 1991, Poland was obliged to adjust its law
in respect of money laundering to Community requirements. It became necessary
to take actions aimed at assuring compliance between Polish law and the Council
Directive of 10.06.91 on prevention of the use of the financial system for the
purpose of money laundering and the requirements of the Vienna Convention on
illegal trade in narcotics and psychotropic substances, ratified in 1994.
The undertaken legislation is aimed at the adoption of legal instruments enabling
Poland to be bound by the Council of Europe Convention on laundering, search,
seizure and confiscation of the proceeds from crime. The adoption of the new
penal code introducing a very broad definition of money was followed by the
adoption on 29 August 1997 of the new banking law. This law contains a new regulation
of banking secrecy which meets the standards of the Convention. The Polish
The Polish Government prepares the National Programme against crime - a new
horizontal, multidisciplinary document (265 pages) which involves all services,
administrations and institutions in the process of preparation of Poland to
face the problem of the fight against crime and crime prevention in the Twenty-First
Poland experiences no specific threat from terrorism, but the Government has
taken key measures against terrorism (ratification of the 1977 Strasbourg Convention;
adoption of the National Security Strategy, on 4 January 2000).
The Polish legislation concerning the protection of personal data does not
provide for any restrictions, such as compulsory Polish citizenship, residence
requirements, obligatory trade union membership, as provided in Art. 52, 59
of the Treaty. The Personal Data Protection Act of 29 August 1997 is, to a large
extent, consistent with the Directive 46/95/EC. Parliamentary acts concerning
the areas which seem to be not in conformity with Community law are under way
(foreseeable term for coming into force is the end of 2000).
Poland has signed (21.04.1999) the Council of Europe's Convention No. 108 of
28.01.1981 on the protection of individuals with regards to automatic processing
of personal data.
Poland pays special attention to the harmonisation of the judicial system to
the EU standards. The work is aimed at achieving the highest possible level
of co-operation of the administration of justice in criminal and civil cases
in the pre-accession phase. These activities were conducted in three main areas:
1. Preparation of the appropriate legal framework for such co-operation.
At the turn of 1998, Poland signed two international agreements which
are part of the acquis of the Third Pillar or which are closely connected with
- the Additional Protocol to the Convention on the transfer of
sentenced persons, on 18 February 1998.
- the Convention of the OECD on combating bribery of foreign officials
in international transactions - on 17 December 1997.
It should also be noted that on 4 March 1998 Poland was invited to the
Lugano Convention on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgements in civil
and commercial matters. Poland ratified the Convention on 26 August 1999.
Further major changes in national law have been made in the regulations
covering the combating of organised crime and corruption (the law of 25 June
1997 on the crown witness which comes into force on 1 September 1998, makes
possible to obtain important evidence in criminal proceedings in return for
abandoning the prosecution of and ensuring protection to accomplices who played
a minor role in the crime; the law of 24 April 1997 on counteracting drug abuse
which came into force on 14 October 1997 penalises i.a. the possession of drugs).
As concerns corruption, two regulations were of particular importance:
- the law of 27 June 1997 on political parties which provides for
i.a. a full transparency of the finances of political parties;
- the law of 21 August 1997 on limiting the right of engaging in
business activities by persons performing public functions
2. Preparation of officials of the administration of justice
In the period from 1 July 1997 to 30 June 1998 large-scale training in
European law was carried out in order to prepare officials of the administration
of justice to apply European law (including the acquis of JHA) in the conditions
of membership. In this training programme, organised in co-operation with the
member states (France, UK) and the services of the Commission, about a thousand
judges have been trained.
3. Modernisation of the technical equipment of the administration of justice
Especially for those in charge of combating organised crime (computerised
It is planned to exchange information, collected in the system, electronically
with other Polish data bases and provide access to international electronic
systems of information exchange.
It is clear that without Phare sources the transformation process wouldn't
be so effective and satisfactory. The yearly Phare programmes and even the passive
participation in the Title VI EU programmes considerably help to equip the Police,
Border Guard, and Customs services with necessary technical resources and to
implement training programmes related with the procedures applied by above formations
according to the acquis.
Pesrspectives after Amsterdam: An Area of Freedom, Security and Justice
The European Council, held in Tampere on 15 and 16 October 1999, was - in my
deep belief a milestone in the process of construction of the European Union.
The idea of an area of freedom, security, and justice, inserted to the Treaty,
gives a clear answer in which direction European integration is supposed to
develop. Poland observes with particular attention the development of the idea
of security in the EU - it is a petty that still observes from outside. But
definitely Polish citizens and the Polish government share the member states'
pre-occupation concerning this crucial problem for the future of our continent.
An idea without any practical measures becomes simple literature. The adequate
steps taken only a few months after the entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty
have had very positive results. The Tampere summit invited the European Commission
to propose the necessary legal solutions and measures, and indicate the deadlines
for the creation of the area of freedom, security and justice. I personally
see the "Scoreboard" as an indicative hand book for all European institutions
and member-states' administrations, describing what, how and when should be
done. The "Scoreboard" will be also an instrument in the hands of the citizens
who receive a specific way to measure the accomplishment of the tasks.
The Scoreboard is also the instrument which will be useful for the candidate
states. The effectiveness of the new legal instruments, which have to be accomplished
by the EU, will be high only with simultaneous participation of the future EU
members. And once again we come back to the question of the legitimacy of a
closer and real involvement of the candidates in the co-operation in the JHA
area based on a mutual partnership.
I have just tried to give you a general picture of the situation in Poland
in its preparation process in the JHA area. It is impossible to do that in a
very detailed way. But we are aware - all in Europe - that all problems connected
with JHA may and should be solved only by a multi-country co-operation and by
a common effort. There is an urgent necessity to intensify these efforts in
combating new dangerous forms of transfrontier crime (including internet), in
tackling problems of migration, protection of refugees or victims of crime.
Because of the fact that many of those phenomena have intensified after the
"opening" of Eastern and Central Europe and the increase of the free flow of
people between East and West, public opinion in some countries tends to blame
the Central and Eastern Europeans for their perceptible loss of safety. That
is why we have to join our efforts to convince people, who are directly concerned,
of our good will, indicating our practical engagements and the results achieved
- to fight dangerous stereotypes which in the long run might hinder us on our
way to an imminent membership of the European Union.