Freedom, security and justice
One of the Union’s main objectives is to create an area of freedom, security and justice (AFSJ) without internal borders (including the Schengen agreements), in which the free movement of its citizens is ensured in conjunction with appropriate measures with respect to external border controls, asylum, immigration and the prevention and combating of crime. Collaboration in this domain is relatively recent, but has expanded considerably, predominantly since the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1997, which was consolidated in the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009. There are substantial challenges concerning migration, justice and internal security and the most suitable response is often found on a European level. Belgium intends to continue to foster a protective and secure Europe, whereby terrorism must be dealt with using a global approach on a European level, in conjunction with the competent national authorities. Closer European police and judicial cooperation is necessary to tackle the globalisation of crime. Furthermore, there is a need for better and more thorough border controls and a better exchange of information. In the field of asylum and migration, the European Union needs an efficient, well managed and solidary migration policy in order to cope with the major challenges of today's world. This requires a comprehensive approach in which the advantages of legal migration are harnessed, the EU upholds its humanitarian tradition of offering protection to those fleeing war or persecution, while on the other hand decisively addressing illegal migration and efficiently managing the external borders of the EU. That is why it is necessary to ensure the greatest possible coherence between the migration policy and the external and development policy of the EU. It is of central importance for Belgium that the European migration policy strikes the right balance between responsibility and solidarity.