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The Meijers Committee was founded in 1991 at the initiative of Herman Meijers, professor emeritus of International Law at the University of Amsterdam. He and a group of jurists, together with the organizations supporting them, were deeply concerned about excessive secrecy surrounding European decision making, the absence of democratic control, and the de facto shutdown of critical analysis by external experts due to the absence of current information.
In the early 1990s the main concern was with the Schengen Agreement to partially remove border controls within Europe. The Agreement introduced what were called compensatory measures, often agreed behind closed doors, to combat the supposed and expected negative effects of an area of open borders, with free movement of persons. Such measures posed a drastic threat to the legal position of EU citizens, as well as those from outside the EU's borders (third-country nationals), both on EU territory itself as well as for those wishing to enter the EU. From the very start, this was a continuing cause for concern for the Meijers Committee.
In recent decades the Meijers Committee has mainly directed its attention to the draft decisions of the European Council of Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA Council) in such areas as immigration, asylum, and criminal law and their effect on draft legislation of the European Commission as it develops Title IV of the EC Treaty, which was introduced under the Treaty of Amsterdam. Other topics on which the Committee was quick to adopt a standpoint are the drafting of the Treaty of Amsterdam, the Charter of Fundamental Rights (2000), European measures that affect the rule of law in The Netherlands relating to non-discrimination, the institutional reform of the EU, and the Treaty of Lisbon.
The Meijers Committee's current concerns include developments in the European Area of Freedom, Security and Justice, such as the Common European Asylum System, harmonization of the rights of suspects, data protection in migration information systems, protection of rights in the law affecting aliens, and equal treatment of EU citizens.
Herman Meijers (1992-1998)
Kees Groenendijk (1998 - 2014)
Theo de Roos (2014 - present)