In the context of Romania’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council (JHA) takes place in Luxembourg between 6 and 7 June 2019.
On June 6, 2019 Ana BIRCHALL, interim Minister of Justice, Deputy Prime Minister for implementing strategic partnerships, led the proceedings of the Justice Section of the JHA Council.
Referring to the objectives achieved by Romania during its Presidency of the EU Council, Minister Ana Birchall said that “the results of this Council unequivocally confirm Romania’s very good performance at the Presidency of the EU Council and its status as a trusted partner in consolidating and promoting European projects, as well as its ability to understand, as an honest broker, the other Member States’ own approaches and to harmonise their interests in the interinstitutional negotiation process. In line with European principles and values, the Ministry of Justice will continue to play an active role in promoting the EU policies as support for an independent justice, aiming for stability and predictability.”
On the agenda of the meeting were both legislative proposals and non-legislative instruments, in areas of interest for consolidating the European Union’s area of freedom, security and justice.
The Council adopted decisions on negotiating mandates for an EU-US agreement on electronic evidence for judicial cooperation in criminal matters and, respectively, for participation in negotiations on a Second Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime.
Council Conclusions have also been adopted on data retention and, respectively, the synergies between Eurojust and European judicial networks in the area of cooperation in criminal matters. At the same time, during the meeting, the broad support for the Presidency’s reports on the future of substantial criminal law and, respectively, the way forward in the field of mutual recognition in criminal matters were confirmed.
The Council took note of the progress made in the negotiations on the Proposal for a Regulation on legislation applicable to the effects on third parties of debt assignments, a legislative initiative with an important role in advancing the EU agenda in the economic and financial fields. The ministers of justice in the EU Member States also held a policy debate on the digitalisation of judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters, in the context of revising the regulations on the communication of documents and obtaining evidence, respectively. Digitalisation can make a significant contribution to rendering cross-border cooperation more efficient.
Among the items adopted without any debate, we should mention the Directive on preventive restructuring frameworks, second chance and measures to increase the efficiency of restructuring, insolvency and discharge procedures, and the addition to the general approach regarding the appendices to the Regulation on European Production and Preservation Orders for electronic evidence in criminal matters.
The ministers of justice also expressed their political willingness for the EU’s participation, as an observer, in GRECO (Group of States against Corruption), a structure established by the Council of Europe.
The working lunch of the ministers of justice had as its theme “Judicial training for strengthening mutual trust”, confirming the importance of this topic for creating a common European legal culture.