Sumario: 15 June 2009, Brussels- The European Union and the United States on Monday endorsed a joint statement on the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, at the same time marking a fresh start in counterterrorism cooperation based on shared values, international law, the respect for human rights and the rule of law.
The statement, a joint effort of the Czech EU Presidency, with the support of the EU Counter-terrorism coordinator and the European Commission, and the United States, gives full backing to the U.S. pledge to close the detention centre. It allows those EU Member States wishing to receive former detainees cleared for release, based on a request by the United States, to refer to a common EU framework when doing so.
The text draws upon principles adopted by EU interior ministers, which stipulate that the United States will share with the EU member states the available information relevant to ex-detainees received on the territory of the EU Member States and the Schengen Area. The decision on whether to accept former inmates from Guantanamo remains the exclusive competence of the individual Member States.
By supporting the U.S. determination to shut down Guantanamo, the EU hopes to contribute to changing U.S. policies and to help the United States turn the page. Close cooperation based on shared values is imperative for an effective fight against terrorism while protecting the liberty and safety of our citizens.