We live in times of change and thus the European Commission launched an appeal for the implementation of an association for European renovation. With this perspective, the Commission designed its working program for the next five years.
The first objective of this association is prosperity. The Commission gave new momentum to Lisbon’s strategy for expansion and employment that will allow for the release of the dynamic economic potential that Europe contains. Achieving the second strategic goal, solidarity, also demands renovated actions: implement cohesion policies that may allow reducing the gap between the rich and the poor. Currently, the Commission makes efforts to promote security - the third strategic objective. In 2004, the European Council approved a program of great magnitude, the so called Program of The Hague, which aims at strengthening freedom, security and justice within the Union. Through common efforts we will be able to implement, more easily, an effective policy of immigration and asylum and, at the same time, defend our co-citizens against the world threat of terrorism and organized crime.
The Commission has just presented a new action plan that transcribes the Program of The Hague in concrete stages and measures. Ten priorities have been identified to respond to the main questions and problems inherent to freedom, security and justice that have an influence on our daily lives. We hope member countries will support this action plan in the coming weeks. Only a few years ago, the member states were in charge of fields like justice and the war against terrorism and the international organized crime. However, the September 11 or the March 11 attacks showed that the only possible answer to these threats is common action. The first measures, like the European arrest warrant, proved its effectiveness.
Soon, the ten new members of the European Union will eliminate their internal borders and will administrate them on an integrated basis. As to the issue of visas, we recommend creating common centers in charge of examining petitions. With the green book on immigration we began a consultation process with civil society in regards to the treatment that should be given to legal economic immigration on a European scale. Each State should be aware that its decision will have repercussion over the others and it is necessary to set up a common policy to firmly face clandestine immigration and the trade of human beings. We should not forget the delicate issue of the integration of immigrants’ communities either.
The policy of common security must be accompanied by a policy that guarantees individual rights. We will recommend the creation in 2005 of a new body in charge of fundamental rights that will give Europe a new tool to defend and promote these rights. Our new action plan is not a simple bureaucratic project. It relies on a serious analysis of the reality. The European Parliament, member countries, national parliaments, public powers at all levels, social agents and the civil society, in general, should be fully associated.

" Quel partenariat pour le renouveau européen ? ", by José Manuel Barroso and Franco Frattini, Le Figaro, May 31, 2005.