The European Ministers for Justice gathered today for the third and final formal Council Meeting on Justice and Home Affairs under Danish Presidency. Minister for Justice and President of the Justice and Home Affairs Council, Morten Bødskov, had put a number of central issues on the agenda aiming to ensure simplified rules for European citizens and businesses and improve the protection of the fundamental rights of persons suspected of committing a criminal act.
At the meeting, agreement was reached in the Council on new rules aimed at addressing the problems and hindrances which European citizens and businesses encounter when they, for example, do business in other EU Member States. The revision of the so called Brussels I Regulation aims at ensuring that judgments rendered in one Member State, can easily be enforced in another Member State.
The Ministers also agreed on new and simplified rules on the handing of matters regarding successions within the EU.
The Danish Presidency also attained agreement amongst the European Ministers for Justice on a number of new rules, which will improve the protection of the fundamental rights of persons suspected of committing a criminal act. The Council agreed inter alia to a proposal for new rules ensuring suspected persons the right to have access to a lawyer and the right to contact their next of kin in case of arrest. Negotiations with the European Parliament will now be launched on the basis of the agreed proposal.
Finally, the Council had a political debate on the proposal for a Common European Sales Law.
Minister for Justice and President of the Justice and Home Affairs Council, Morten Bødskov, states:
”The right to settle and work anywhere within the EU is a fundamental right of all EU citizens and it is a right that more and more Europeans choose to exercise. At the same time, the establishment of the Internal Market has made it very attractive for European businesses and consumers to engage in cross border trade. This development helps create growth and must be supported by clear and common EU rules, which ensure that European citizens and businesses know their rights and can enforce them throughout the EU.
Therefore, I am very pleased that today we were able to come to an agreement on new rules on successions and on rules which will make it easier and more secure to engage in cross border trade. The new rules ensure that, for example, businesses that do business abroad will be better able to enforce demands for payment in other EU Member States.
The results we achieved today will make everyday life easier for European citizens and businesses.
I am also pleased that we helped ensure that persons suspected of or charged with a criminal act gain access to the same legal guarantees in all EU Member States in regard to the right to access a lawyer during a criminal proceeding. It is important that the EU always leads the way in regard to the protection of fundamental rights.”
Press-related queries: Peter Goll, Ministry for Justice
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Agenda-related queries: Lasse Boje, Ministry for Justice
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Denmark holds the Presidency of The Council of The European Union during the first six months of 2012. The Council is made up of 10 Council configurations dealing with different thematic areas. The Minister for Justice is President of the Justice and Home Affairs Council.
The general purpose of the JHA Council is to ensure that the EU remains an “area with freedom, security and justice” and the Council deals with cooperation on border control, immigration, asylum, civil protection, civil law and police and criminal law matters.
The JHA Council convenes three times during each Presidency and the meeting on 7-8 June 2012 is the last Council Meeting under the Danish Presidency. The Danish Presidency hosted an Informal JHA Ministerial Meeting on 26-27 January 2012 in Copenhagen.