The last official Justice and Home Affairs Council of Finland’s Presidency will convene in Brussels on 2–3 December 2019. The justice ministers’ session on Tuesday, 3 December, will be chaired by Minister of Justice Anna-Maja Henriksson.
The aim of this meeting is to adopt Council conclusions on victims’ rights. The conclusions call on the European Commission to draw up a new EU strategy to ensure that victims’ rights apply in practice and regardless of which member state the crime has occurred in. As part of the strategy, the Council invites the Commission to evaluate the existing EU legislation on victims’ rights, focussing on a review of the current rules on compensation.
Over their working lunch, the justice ministers will discuss strengthening the rule of law within the EU, pursuing a debate launched at the informal meeting of ministers in Helsinki last July. The topic was raised in a recent communication from the Commission, announcing that it would start publishing an annual report on rule of law developments in the member states. The justice ministers will discuss their own role in this context and the key rule of law issues to focus on in the future.
“I am happy to be able to say that Finland’s Presidency has provided us with the opportunity to put the rule of law on the justice ministers’ agenda in a more systematic and comprehensive way. Smooth judicial processes and an independent judiciary are a must for citizens to be able to enjoy their rights. The fight against corruption also needs to be intensified. In all EU countries, the justice ministers play a key role in making this happen,” Minister Henriksson said.
In the field of civil law, Finland’s Presidency has promoted the role of digital solutions aimed at speeding up cross-border cooperation in the taking of evidence and in the service of writs of summonses and other judicial documents in another member state. To promote this goal, the Council is now hoping to reach agreement on amendments to the two regulations on the service of documents and the taking of evidence.