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Britain Presses for EU Efforts Against Crime, Terrorism

Britain will present a series of proposals to the EU at the upcoming meetings of the EU Home Affairs Ministers, urging joint efforts against crimes and terrorism, British Home Secretary Charles Clarke said Tuesday.

Clarke, whose country is holding the rotating EU presidency, told the foreign press in London that Britain would urge the EU to join hands in fighting terrorism, organized crime such as drug dealing and human trafficking, illegal immigration and false seeking of asylum.

London was attacked in July by four deadly explosions, in which 56 people died, and a series of failed bombings.

Clarke also said more than 100,000 women were trafficked in the EU in 2004; more than 8,000 people die each year from drug use; and illegal migration and a system of control which is too loose raise concerns in every city.

Some countries' veto of the European Constitution indicates the EU's failure in addressing people's deep-seated concerns and in offering "practical solutions" to the issues of greatest concern, he added.

He urged the EU, particularly the Justice and Home Affairs Council, to give real priority to tackling the issues in a "practical and systematic way."

To the end, Clarke said, Britain suggests three principal approaches.

First, to strengthen international cooperation in sharing experience, information and resources, and in identifying and then targeting the threats systematically and consistently.

Second, to strengthen the foundation of practical and pragmatic police and intelligence work.

Third, to use information effectively and intelligently to target, track down, identify and convict the criminals who through terrorist violence and serious and organized crimes threaten security.

He called for efficient work at the Justice and Home Affairs Council as well as the European Parliament to reach an agreement on the legal framework for the system so as to put it into place by early 2007.

The ministers' informal meetings will be held on Sept. 8-9 in the British city of Newcastle.

(Xinhua News Agency September 7, 2005)

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