Minister of Justice and interim Deputy Prime Minister for the implementation of strategic partnerships of Romania, Ana Birchall, chaired the Justice section of the traditional EU – USA ministerial meetings on justice and internal affairs on 19 June 2019. The Romanian Presidency of the EU Council was also represented by Minister of Internal Affairs Carmen Dan and Minister Delegate for European Affairs George Ciamba.
During the meeting, Ana Birchall underscored the results obtained by Romania during the EU Council Presidency. “Romania has successfully discharged the EU Council Presidency, by fulfilling all proposed objectives regarding justice, including the organisation of high level events. Romania has confirmed its status as a reliable partner in consolidating and promoting European projects, as well as its honest broker capacity to understand the approaches of other member states by harmonising their interests through the process of interinstitutional negotiation. 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,” the Romanian Minister of Justice declared.
Both parties have restated the importance of cross-border access to electronic evidence (E-evidence), and reaffirmed the benefits that an EU – USA Agreement would bring to the ease of access to electronic evidence. In this context, the participants welcomed the approval of the mandate to authorise the commencement of negotiations for an EU – USA Agreement on cross-border access to electronic evidence for the purpose of judicial cooperation in penal matters, issued on 6 June 2019 by the Council of Justice and Internal Affairs.
“The representatives of the EU and USA have underscored the absolute priority of combatting terrorism and discussed ways to continue and extend joint efforts, including the exchange of relevant information in the field for the purpose of law enforcement and criminal prosecution.
The EU and the USA underscored their commitment to show progress in these areas of common interest and the necessity of joint solutions for facing global security threats, and promised to meet again in Washington D.C. during the second half of 2019.
“It has been an honour for Romania to host the traditional ministerial meeting of EU and USA on justice and internal affairs. I am very glad that the Bucharest meeting is the first ministerial meeting attended by Attorney General William Barr and acting deputy secretary David PEKOSKE. The meeting was an opportunity to consolidate our long-term cooperation on justice and internal affairs, both parties reaffirming their commitment to jointly approach an evolving security landscape and common threats to security,” concluded the Romanian Minister of Justice who, in her role of interim Deputy Prime Minister for the implementation of strategic partnerships, appreciated that “the Strategic Partnership with the USA is fundamental for Romania, as a pillar of the foreign policy of our country.”
At the end of the ministerial meeting a Joint EU – USA Declaration was adopted, which underscored the importance of continuing and deepening the cooperation between the two parties in the fields of justice and internal affairs.
A bilateral meeting was held in the margins of the main meeting between the Romanian Minister of Justice Ana Birchall, and European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra JOUROVÁ, where aspects of the most important results of the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council regarding justice were discussed, as well as the next steps for enhancing the technical dialogue between the Commission and Romanian justice authorities.
“Romania has been an honest negotiator during its presidency of the EU Council. The results, which exceed the initial objectives, confirm this fact. However, success would not have been possible without the contribution of all member states, of the General Secretariat of the EU Council, of the European Commission, of the European Parliament and the relevant agencies of the EU. Romania is a profoundly European state that fully shares the common values of the European Union, and the EU agenda during the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council was significantly developed,” underscored Ana Birchall, the Romanian Minister of Justice.
Additionally, the Romanian Minister of Justice had a discussion with her Finnish counterpart, Anna-Maja Henriksson. The topics covered the results of the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council, cooperation with Finland within the Romania, Finland and Croatia trio, as well as the development of bilateral cooperation in the field of justice between the two countries. “Romania and Finland have worked together very well for the preparation and fulfilment of the mandate of their Trio, and jointly and successfully promoted subjects of interest to the European Agenda. Romania is ready to support Finland in achieving its Presidency of the EU Council,” concluded Ana Birchall.
The European Union was represented at the meeting by the Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová, the Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos and Commissioner for Security Union Julian King. Other participants were representatives of the European External Action Service, the General Secretariat of the Council, Europol, Eurojust, Frontex, as well as the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, Gilles de Kerchove.
The United States of America were represented by Attorney General William Barr and the Deputy Secretary for Homeland Security David Pekoske.
Moreover, as the next state to undertake the Presidency of the EU Council, Finland was represented by ministerial delegations headed by Minister of Justice Anna-Maja Henriksson and Minister of Internal Affairs Maria Ohisalo.