Dáil Éireann - Volume 428 - 30 March, 1993
Written Answers. - Directives on Judicial and Internal Affairs.
Mr. Gilmore Mr. Gilmore
100. Mr. Gilmore asked the Minister for Justice if she will give details of the agreements, decisions, resolutions and recommendations drawn up by TREVI, the Ad Hoc Group of Immigration Ministers, the Co-ordinating Group on the Free Movement of Persons, SCHENGEN, CELAD, and other intergovernmental bodies which deal with judicial and internal affairs, which have been adopted or signed by this country and also those which have not yet been adopted by Ireland.
Minister for Justice (Mrs. Geoghegan-Quinn) Máire Geoghegan-Quinn
Minister for Justice (Mrs. Geoghegan-Quinn): Ireland is not a party to the Schengen Agreement and the reference to Schengen is, therefore, not relevant. As regards CELAD, it is appropriate that questions in this area be addressed to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
With regard to the various other fora mentioned by the Deputy, in general they have been in existence for many years. In those circumstances, it would not be possible to compile information of the type sought by the Deputy without the expenditure of a disproportionate amount of time. It would require an inordinate amount of research of an historical nature which would not be confined to issues of current administration and which could not be justified.
Although the Deputy is clearly interested in formal agreements, resolutions and so on, I should explain that much of the intergovernmental work at a European level is confidential in nature and concerned with practical co-operation in such areas, for example, as the  fight against terrorism and serious crime, drugs and illegal immigration. The compilation of the information sought, in other words, would not present a complete picture of the very valuable body of work produced by the various groups mentioned.
I should also mention that during the Irish Presidency in 1990, a detailed and comprehensive programme of action relevant to these areas was approved by Ministers of the Twelve and published. It provided for the enhancement of police co-operation generally and included specific measures designed to reinforce and build on existing co-operation in the fight against terrorism and serious crime, drugs and illegal immigration. Work on the implementation of this programme and a consequent increase in co-operation in all of these areas has since taken place.
In addition, during the debate in the House in May 1992 on the Eleventh Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 1992, to provide for ratification of the Maastricht Treaty, the then Minister for Justice, in the course of his contribution, set out in some considerable detail the background to the co-operation which has been taking place in the area of justice and home affairs for many years on an intergovernmental basis.
Finally, I would like to assure the House that when and if it is necessary to seek the approval of the Oireachtas for any changes in our legislation or in our existing rules and practices arising from decisions in these fora then that, of course, will be done.
Dáil Éireann 428 Written Answers. Directives on Judicial and Internal Affairs.