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Treaty of Amsterdam and the Hague convention

With the Treaty of Amsterdam, which removed the Maastricht Treaty and became law in the spring of 1999, the asylum and migration policy fell under the cognizance of the European community. The alignment of the asylum policy and the refugee law, which had been part of the Treaty of Amsterdam, was administered at the 1st May 2004. The European Council had decided on a multi-annual programme on the 5th November 2004 (until 2010) as a strengthening of liberty, safety and justice in the European Union. The Hague convention includes the implementation of a coherent procedure for the decision about the acceptation as a refugee and the adjudication of subsidiary protection in terms of the refugee policy. According to the Hague convention in the visa policy the following fields have priority: the introduction of biometric data into the documents for visa and residence permits, the creation of a visa-informationsysstem (“VIS”) and the alignment of the national legislation and the treatment of visa. Another core theme is the involvement of the asylum policy into the foreign policy in order to find a common problem-solving approach together with the countries of origin and the transit countries. What is also emphasized is the need for further steps into the direction of the provision of legal immigration and the fight against illicit work as well as to the integration of third-country nationals.

Schengen agreement

Schengen is the model of success of the European Union on its way to a common area of liberty, safety and justice. The goal of the Schengen agreement (“SDÜ”) of the 19th June 1990 is the realization of the freedom of movement by the removal of controls at the boders of the Schengen-States (internal borders): Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria, Greece, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Sweden.

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