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European Area of Justice, Freedom and Security
One of the objectives of the European Union (EU) is the creation of an Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ). The AFSJ is based on Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and Article 67 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union ( TFEU). Citizens can move freely in this area without internal borders. The AFSJ also provides for measures on external border controls, asylum and migration, as well as on the prevention and fight against crime.
Policy and legislation in line with the EU's Freedom and Security policy encompass a wide range of important issues :
- free movement of citizens across the EU without internal border controls - Schengen Agreement
- a common policy on asylum and migration
- border controls at the external borders on the basis of solidarity between EU countries and justice towards third-country nationals.
The EU aims to ensure a high level of protection for its citizens. It seeks to achieve this objective through measures to prevent crime, racism and xenophobia, as well as measures to promote coordination and cooperation between the police (Europol) and judicial authorities (Eurojust).
EU police cooperation includes the competent authorities of EU countries such as police authorities, customs and other services specialized in the prevention, detection or investigation of crime.
In March 2014, the European Commission adopted a Communication entitled “The EU Agenda for Justice 2020 - Enhancing Trust, Mobility and Development within the Union”.
The Schengen Agreement was signed on 14 June 1985 between five member countries of the European Communities (Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands) and aimed at the gradual abolition of checks at the common European borders, the establishment of free movement for all persons who are nationals of the European countries which have signed the Agreement, as well as police and judicial cooperation.
Greece signed the Protocol and the Accession Treaty in 1992. The Schengen Convention, the Convention Implementing the Schengen Treaty and the Protocols as well as the Accession Agreements of the new countries (between 1990 and 1996) were ratified by the Greek Parliament by Law 2514/1997.