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6 July 2016
Justice
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Memo: Informal Meeting of Ministers for Justice (7-8 July, Bratislava)

On Thursday 7 July an informal meeting will be held in Bratislava between justice ministers of the Eastern Partnership countries and the respective representatives of the EU institutions. The Council of the European Union will be represented by the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for Justice of the Slovak Republic, Ms Lucia Žitňanská, who will chair the meeting.

The Eastern Partnership is a political initiative launched at the Prague summit in May 2009. The aim of this partnership is to deepen and strengthen the relations between the EU and six eastern European countries: Republic of Armenia, Republic of Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. The ministers meet regularly to discuss this topic and the meeting in Bratislava simply continues with this tradition. However, the meeting will also be a preparation for the next high-level meeting between the Eastern Partnership countries and representatives of the European Union.

Topics for discussion

-          Anti-corruption policy with a focus on the fight against money laundering

-          Independence of the judiciary

 

On Friday 8 July there will be an informal meeting of justice ministers of all 28 EU Member States in Bratislava. The Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for Justice of the Slovak Republic, Ms Lucia Žitňanská, will also chair this meeting.

Topics for discussion

-          Proposal for a Regulation establishing a European Public Prosecutor's Office, which aims to streamline the prosecution of crimes affecting the financial interests of the EU. The purpose of the debate is to see the proposed European Public Prosecutor's Office as part of the whole system protecting the financial interests of the EU and to reflect on a way how to find a solution that is both consensual and effective as soon as possible;

-          e-justice with a focus on the use of e-communication in cross-border cases. The aim of the discussion is to draw ministers' attention to the existence of the e-IDAS Regulation, the possibilities it offers, but also what needs to be implemented in order to have a functioning EU cross-border e-communication system in the area of justice with all the benefits it can offer (speeding up the delivery of documents, simplifying the cross-border taking of evidence, possible hearings with parties from abroad by means of videoconferencing, etc.).

-          Cybercrime - encryption and the fight against crime. The recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels proved once again that modern technologies are increasingly being used for the most serious forms of crime. The Slovak Presidency brings this issue to the negotiating table because of its timeliness and the need to address the current work and challenges. The law enforcement bodies face the problem of encryption when trying to secure electronic evidence for the purposes of criminal proceedings. Encryption is a serious obstacle to successful investigations and prosecutions. The aim of the meeting at this point is to have the most open discussion focusing on the problematic aspects encountered in the field of criminal justice.

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