The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2005URL (Internet address) : http://www.eu2005.lu/en/actualites/communiques/2005/05/03friechli/
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Justice minister Luc Frieden calls for a privileged partnership between the EU, Switzerland and Liechtenstein
In the context of the Luxembourg EU Presidency, Justice minister Luc Frieden paid a working visit to Vaduz and Bern on 2 and 3 May 2005.
In Vaduz, Luc Frieden held talks with Liechtenstein’s Head of government, Otmar Hasler, Justice minister, Klaus Tschütscher and Foreign minister Rita Kieber-Beck. Moreover, Luc Frieden was received in audience, at Castle Vaduz, by Crown Prince Alois von und zu Liechtenstein.
In the Swiss capital Bern Luc Friedens’ agenda comprised meetings with the President of Switzerland, Samuel Schmit, Justice minister Christoph Blocher as well as Foreign minister Micheline Calmy-Rey.
At the centre of the discussions, both in Switzerland and Liechtenstein were the two countries’ respective relations with the European Union, particularly in the field of internal security and in the light of evolutions in financial centres.
Luc Frieden reported on the very good experiences Luxembourg has been having with the Schengen system of cooperation. Close cooperation of police forces at the European level is, according to Luc Frieden, an absolute necessity in the fight against organised crime. Cross-border problems need to be addressed in a European manner, irrespective of national borders. For Luc Frieden, the access to police data bases is an important element, like for instance the Schengen information system.
For the current president of the Justice and Home Affairs Council, Luc Frieden, Switzerland and Liechtenstein need to be integrated into a privileged partnership with the EU regarding internal security. Luc Frieden recalled the Luxembourg Presidency's list of priorities on which cooperation with third countries in terms of justice and policing features very prominently.
Luc Frieden also discussed the evolution of the European financial centres with his ministerial colleagues in Liechtenstein and Switzerland. He noted with satisfaction that in Liechtenstein as well as Switzerland the parliamentary procedures on the agreement on taxation on savings, have come to a positive conclusion, and hence, important preconditions for the implementation of the directive on taxation on savings have been met.
On 3 May, Luc Frieden, Minister for Justice and Defence, gave a lecture at the University of Zurich on the subject: "Europe, guarantor of peace, freedom and security". He recalled the irreplaceable role the EU has played in ensuring peace and stability in Europe, in defending rights, and in assuring the necessary cooperation that allows for inner and outer security in our countries. The constitutional treaty, contributes to this effort.