JusMin Toader attends JHA Council meeting, regulation establishing European Public Prosecutor’s Office adopted

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Justice Minister Tudorel Toader attended on Thursday in Luxembourg the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council meeting that formally adopted the text of the proposal for the regulation establishing the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO).

According to a release of the Ministry of Justice, the justice ministers from 20 member states, Romania included, formally adopted the text of the proposal for the regulation on the creation of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office after its approval by the European Parliament on October 5.

It is a historic moment for the European construction. Romania has understood to participate in the enhanced cooperation towards the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, which is meant to contribute to the protection of the Union’s financial interests. Romania also takes into consideration the fact that member states’ authorities participate by various competences in enforcing European justice. The setting up of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office also signifies balancing the judicial mechanisms for the protection of common values and legitimate interests. We are open to contributing to rendering operational the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, but also to debates for the extension of its competence. There are many other serious cross-border crimes that can be prevented and fought only by joint efforts at European level. Personally, I believe that the expansion of EPPO’s competence to acts of terrorism will represent just a step towards the further broadening of its powers to other crime types of European scale, Tudorel Toader said during the debates.

The Romanian minister of justice expressed his conviction that the other member states will also join the enhanced cooperation, and future efforts will focus on rendering operational the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, which is to partly take over national judicial competences.

In the JHA Council meeting, the justice ministers had a policy debate on the proposed regulation on the mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders (scope-related aspects) and on the proposal for a regulation establishing a centralized system for identifying member states holding information on convictions of third-country nationals and stateless persons.

The justice ministers also formally adopted the conclusions on the application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in 2016, after having previously discussed the matter in the presence of the Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights.

In a joint session, the Justice and Home Affairs ministers discussed aspects related to criminal justice in cyberspace and proceeded to the mid-term review of the JHA strategic guidelines established by the European Council in June 2014.

On the sidelines of the JHA Council meeting, the Romanian delegation, that also includes Secretary of State Marieta Safta, had a meeting with Danish Justice Minister Soren Pape Poulsen.

Aspects related to the judicial cooperation and the bilateral agenda were approached, and concrete solutions were put forward for the transfer of convicted persons. Based on these solutions, transfer procedures will be initiated at the level of the Justice Ministries’ experts, under observance of the legal requirements and European standards on detention conditions. Thus, certain recurring problems on the bilateral judicial cooperation agenda were solved through a constant and open dialogue, contributing to maintaining relations between the two states at a very good level. In this respect, the Danish minister expressed appreciation for the efforts of the Romanian authorities, the Minister of Justice in particular. Soren Pape accepted the Romanian justice minister’s invitation to visit Romania, the release also informs.

During talks with French Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet, Tudorel Toader extended a similar invitation which was also accepted.