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EU Justice Ministers underscore victims’ rights

04 Dec 2019, 02:34 ( 6 days ago) | updated: 04 Dec 2019, 02:37 ( 6 days ago)

DF Report
Photo source: Ministry of Justice.

The justice ministers of the EU member states adopted Council conclusions on victims’ rights and had a debate on how to further strengthen the rule of law.

At a meeting held in Brussels, the Justice issues were on the agenda on Tuesday on the second day of the Justice and Home Affairs Council, said an official press release.

“Becoming a victim of crime may seriously undermine an individual’s sense of security. To be able to secure victims’ rights better than before, we need to address them more comprehensively. The justice ministers are looking to the European Commission for a new EU-level strategy that would allow us to proceed in the desired direction,” said Minister of Justice Anna-Maja Henriksson, who chaired the meeting.

The adopted Council conclusions call on the Commission to look particularly into the existing EU provisions on compensation to victims when working on its strategy.

The meeting also followed up on the debate launched by the Finnish Presidency on how justice ministers could contribute to the strengthening of the rule of law in the European Union.

“Our common values are the cornerstone of the EU. I am very pleased to note that this important issue now seems to have found its place on the agenda of EU justice ministers. We should do our part to reinforce citizens’ trust in the proper functioning of the rule of law,” Henriksson said.

The Council also adopted conclusions on alternative measures to detention. Exchanging best practices between the EU member states lies at the heart of the conclusions, for criminal sanctions fall in the remit of the member states.

The justice ministers also agreed on updates to two civil procedure regulations in order to facilitate the gathering of evidence and the service of judicial documents across borders through digital solutions.

The final report on mutual evaluations on environmental crime in the EU was presented to the ministers by the Presidency.