Highlights from the Justice Council of 8 March 2019
Justice, 8 March
The Council agreed its position on the directive on the appointment of legal representatives for the purpose of gathering of evidence in criminal proceedings. This directive is part of a package aimed at improving cross-border access to e-evidence by creating a legal framework to enable judicial orders to be addressed directly to service providers operating in the EU.
The Council also debated the negotiating mandates for the Second additional protocol to the Budapest Convention and for an agreement between the EU and the US on facilitating access to e-evidence. These mandates are essential to complement the e-evidence legislative package in order to ensure a quick and effective access to e-evidence stored outside the EU. Ministers provided orientation and political directions to guide the work at technical level and subsequently to adopt the mandates during the Romanian Presidency.
Our judicial and law enforcement authorities need effective and quicker access to e-evidence in criminal proceedings. We are acting on two fronts to make sure we deliver: within the EU by setting up new rules for orders to be addressed directly to service providers, and outside the EU by discussing with key players, in particular the US, agreements to make the exchange of e-evidence quicker and safer.
Tudorel Toader, Romanian Minister of Justice
Legislative files to be adopted in the coming weeks
The presidency informed the Council on legislative files for which political agreements have been reached and that will be finally adopted by the end of the current legislature. These include the directive on non cash fraud, the directive on the digital content and the directive on the sales of goods.
Highlights from the Home Affairs Council of 7 March 2019
Home affairs, 7 March
Ministers reviewed where the EU stands in its cooperation with North African countries on migration, and explored where further assistance can be provided.
The EU can do more to assist these countries by enhancing their capacity to manage migration, including border control, search and rescue at sea, the adoption and implementation of asylum and migration legislation, reintegration, returns and readmission.
Today we continued working on our comprehensive approach to migration. We have come a long way since the crisis in 2015, with arrivals down by more than 90%. However, we cannot be complacent. One important continuing priority is to support North African countries so that they are well equipped to deal with the migration challenges they face.
Carmen Daniela Dan, Romanian minister of internal affairs
The Presidency also briefed ministers on the progress of negotiations with the European Parliament on the regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard, as well as on the state of play of the asylum reform.
EU response to terrorism
Ministers discussed the state of play and way forward on the EU's response to terrorism. They focused on identifying practical and legislative gaps which need to be addressed, as well as areas which should be regarded as a priority. They underlined the importance of implementing the measures already adopted.
On the basis of this discussion, the process of reflecting on the way forward will continue at technical level.
Civil protection mechanism
The Council today adopted a decision to amend the EU civil protection mechanism. The new rules foresee the setting-up of an additional pool of resources, rescEU, to provide assistance in situations where existing capacities prove to be insufficient. Risk prevention and knowledge sharing will also be improved.