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The Commissioner for Justice, Freedom, & Security is the member of the European Commission. The current commissioner is Jacques Barrot.

The position covers such matters as judicial matters, human rights, equality laws, immigration control, policing and citizenship. Some of these aspects however are partly outside the European Community pillar of the Union. See: Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters.


Current commissioner

Commissioner Frattini giving a speech at the European Youth Parliament in March 2007

Rocco Buttiglione was originally proposed by Italy as Commissioner for Justice, Freedom, & Security. However during his interview with the European Parliament he expressed conservative views regarding women and homosexuality which the Parliament thought incompatible with the portfolio. Buttiglione was eventually withdrawn and Franco Frattini proposed in his place who was approved by the Parliament. Frattini has outlined his key priorities as: fundamental Rights and citizenship; the fight against terrorism and organised crime; immigration and asylum, visa and border issues; closer co-operation between police, judicial and customs authorities; ensuring all EU citizens have the same access to justice; and the Rights of the Child.

In February 2006 during the Danish cartoons row he defended the media's freedom of speech, though did express disagreement with subject of the cartoons [1]. November saw the commissioner's concern for child welfare extended to video games, calling for tougher controls; anything relating to stricter self-regulation to an outright ban [2] During that year, the staff of his DG grew to 465, accounting for 16% of the Commission's workload (75% more than any other area).[3]

At the start of 2007, Frattini backed an Italian push for EU support of a world wide ban on the death penalty. The Commissioner has been pushing for greater cooperation along Europe's borders, in March proposing backing Frontex with what Frattini describes as an "embryo of what the European coastguard" would be.[4] A number of boats and aircraft were promised to Frontex, by July 2007 few have yet arrived. Despite planning to introduce permanent patrols, Frattini was criticised for contributing to the migration situation in Malta; due to the island's position, Malta receives a lot of illegal immigrants attempting to cross to Europe. Although they do not intend to live in Malta, migrants entering the EU need to be processed in the country they enter and Malta does not have the facilities to cope with such large numbers.[5] In April he has called for more powers to be given to Eurojust, with the power to initiate prosecutions with a European Public Prosecutor [6]. He relaxed visas on the western Balkan countries signifying closer cooperation with the region [7], proposed an EU "blue card", based on the US "green card" scheme[3] and has begun a push for common asylum policies[8]. Following the 2007 Glasgow International Airport attack he criticised the handling of Islam by member-states and called for a "European Islam".[9]

List of commissioners

See also

External links


  1. ^ Statement by Vice-President Franco Frattini on cartoons published by a Danish newspaper
  2. ^ ‘Violent’ video games: ban or self-regulation?
  3. ^ a b O'Conner, Simon (2007) Manning Europe's new frontier. E!Sharp magazine (May-June 2007 edition) p.29
  4. ^ News
  5. ^ Kubosova, Lucia 06/07/07: Malta turning into 'detention centre', warns minister EU Observer
  6. ^ Brussels seeks more powers for EU crime body
  7. ^ Balkan travellers to get cheaper EU visas
  8. ^ EU struggling to deal with Iraq refugee problem
  9. ^ Goldirova, Rentata 06/07/07: Brussels questions EU capitals over approach to Islam EU Observer


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