|MADRID EUROPEAN COUNCIL
15 AND 16 DECEMBER 1995
The European Council, meeting in Madrid on 15 and 16 December 1995, took decisions on employment, the single currency, the Intergovernmental Conference and enlargement to bring in countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean. (…)
The European Council continued its deliberation on the future of Europe, which was launched in Essen and continued in Cannes and Formentor. (…)
The European Council notes with satisfaction some significant achievements in the area of external relations which have occurred since its last meeting and in which the European Union has played a decisive role:
– the signing in Paris of the Dayton Agreement, which puts an end to the terrible war in former Yugoslavia and builds on considerable European efforts over the preceding months in military, humanitarian and negotiating terms. The European Council recognizes the decisive contribution made by the United States at a crucial moment;
– the New Transatlantic Agenda and the Joint EU–US Action Plan signed at the Madrid Summit on 3 December 1995, which are major joint commitments with the United States to revitalize and strengthen our association;
– the signing in Madrid of the Inter-Regional Framework Agreement between the European Union and Mercosur, the first agreement of this type to be concluded by the European Union;
– the Barcelona Declaration, launching a new, comprehensive Euro-Mediterranean association which will promote peace, stability and prosperity throughout the Mediterranean through a permanent process of dialogue and cooperation;
– the signing in Mauritius of the revised Lomé IV Convention by the European Union and the ACP States, which will consolidate the association between the two sides;
– the European Parliament's assent to the customs union between the European Union and Turkey, which opens the way for the consolidation and strengthening of a political, economic and security relationship crucial to the stability of that region.
The European Council began its proceedings by exchanging ideas with Mr Klaus HÄNSCH, President of the European Parliament, on the main subjects for discussion at this meeting.
Finally, a meeting took place today between the Heads of State and Government and the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the associated countries of Central and Eastern Europe, including the Baltic States (CCEE), as well as Cyprus and Malta. There was a broad exchange of views on these conclusions, matters concerning the pre-accession strategy and various issues relating to international policies.
I ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION OF EUROPE IN A SOCIALLY INTEGRATED FRAMEWORK
II A CITIZEN-FRIENDLY EUROPE
C. JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS
The European Council took note of the report on activities carried out in 1995 in the field of justice and home affairs, which describes a very wide range of activities, among them the conclusion of four Conventions and the establishment of the Europol Drugs Unit.
It is the European Council's ambition that the Union can create an area of freedom and security for its citizens and it requests that, with a view to extending cooperation in these areas, future activities be focused on programmed priority areas, including Europol, over a number of Presidencies, particularly in relation to:
2. Drugs and organized crime
3. Judicial cooperation
4. Immigration and asylum
The European Council expresses satisfaction at the results achieved regarding third-country nationals residing illegally in the Union, readmission agreements and combating illegal immigration and illegal employment, and urges the Council to continue proceedings in this area.
The European Council also expresses satisfaction at the approval of the Resolution on burden-sharing with regard to the admission of displaced persons, and the Decision on an alert and emergency procedure for burden-sharing.
The European Council takes note of the common position aimed at harmonized application of the definition of the term "refugee" within the meaning of Article 1 of the Geneva Convention and calls for ratification of the Dublin Convention to be completed.
5. External frontiers
The European Council urges the Council to settle as soon as possible the issues outstanding with regard to the adoption of the Convention on persons crossing the external frontiers of the Member States of the European Union and welcomes the results achieved on visas.
6. Racism and xenophobia
The European Council took note of the results obtained on defining strategies to combat racism and xenophobia (Annex 4); it urges adoption of the Joint Action concerning action to combat racism and xenophobia with the aim of approximating Member States' laws and enhancing the opportunities for judicial assistance between the Member States in this area.
The European Council took note of the interim report from the Consultative Commission and instructs it to continue its proceedings on that basis and complete the feasibility study for a European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia in time for the European Council meeting in June 1996.