During the plenary session of the European Parliament, Wednesday 3 April, Commissioner Vitorino, responsible for Justice and Home Affairs, answered several questions from Mr. Bernd Posselt (MEP/ Germany).
The first question concerned the rumours about a feasibility study on the creation of a European Border Police. Mr. Vitorino responded by saying that the Commission has reason to support initiatives in this direction since several Member States have advocated more severe control on illegal immigration, crime and customs regulations. The Commissioner confirmed that the Italian government has offered to conduct such a feasibility study. Nevertheless the steering committee of the Odysseus-programme has to decide on further action in this field.
Mr. Posselt than asked about the developments regarding the European Police Academy which was formally created 22 December 2000. Internal regulations and organisation of this new institution as well as the location of the secretariat and the budget are to be approved during the next European Council. Furthermore the Commissioner stressed that the Academy is not intended to finance national initiatives.
Finally Mr. Vitorino assured the MEP's that, if approved, the above-mentioned study is to be expected by the end of this year.