Eastern Partnership Justice and Home Affairs ministers to discuss progress in cooperation regularly

09 October 2013, Last updated at, 14:00 EEST
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author: The Council of the European Union

Justice and Home Affairs ministers from the EU Member States and Eastern Partners in their first meeting on October 7–8 in Luxembourg have underlined the importance of judicial and law-enforcement cooperation, best practice sharing and further reforms and have agreed to meet regularly to monitor progress and set political guidelines for cooperation.

Concluding the meeting which was organized jointly by the Lithuanian Presidency of the EU Council and the European Commission, the ministers have adoped a joint declaration stressing the importance of continuing work to ensure that all judicial systems meet European standards of independence, efficiency, impartiality, accountability and effectiveness.

“Our common goal is to increase the level of cooperation seeking to create a common space of freedom, security and justice for the EU and its Eastern Partners. Only through joint efforts, implementation of necessary reforms and relevant assistance we would be able to progress towards stability, security and prosperity in all of our countries,” said Lithuanian Justice Minister Juozas Bernatonis who co-chaired the discussion of justice ministers.

The meeting was held in preparation for the Eastern Partnership summit on November 28–29 in Vilnius. Another sectoral meeting of Eastern Partnership transport ministers is to take place on October 9 in Luxembourg.

Justice ministers have on October 7 discussed various aspects of justice reforms as well as judicial cooperation, including concrete examples, such as bilingual forms, protection of victims and and future projects. Recent legislative and policy developments in the area of justice, including on data protection and fighting drug use, we also discussed.

Discussion of the home affairs ministers on October 8 has focussed on the fight against corruption, organised and transnational crime and cybercrime. In the discussion on migration and mobility, the Commission presented the state of play of visa liberalisation dialogues and visa facilitation and readmission agreements.

“We all agree on the need to coordinate and increase efforts in fighting organized and transnational crime and paying special attention to the idenfication of common threats. Cooperation with Eastern Partners acquires a deeper sectoral dimension and we hope that future presidencies of the EU Council will ensure the continuity of this process,” said Lithuanian Minister of Interior Dailis Alfonsas Barakauskas who co-chaired the discussion of the home affairs ministers.

In their joint declaration, the ministers have underlined the importance of increasing judicial cooperation, making progress with efforts to tackle illicit drugs, speeding up efforts of bringing data protection in line with the European standards as well as developing measures against corruption. The declaration also calls for enhancing cooperation on combating organized and transnational crime and cybercrime, continuing of the effective implementation of visa agreements and liberalization action plans and cooperating in the areas of training and best practice sharing.

 

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The 3rd Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius

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