The informal meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council was one of the first major events organised by the Czech Republic during its Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Representatives of 27 Member States and European Institutions met at the Prague Congress Centre together with guests from Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. The meeting was presided by the Czech Minister of Justice
The main topics of the meeting were a common response to current geopolitical challenges, especially in the context of Russian aggression in Ukraine, i.e. the investigation of war crimes and crimes against humanity, the digitisation of international judicial cooperation and, finally, the protection of vulnerable persons and victims of crimes. Read
The JHA ministers focused on, amongst others, the digitalisation of international judicial cooperation. Possibilities to enhance the electronic exchange of information in the framework of judicial cooperation in criminal matters with third countries were addressed. The discussion focused on keeping up the pace and progress towards further digitalisation in the field of justice, including the need to use secure and reliable communication channels.
eu-LISA highlighted the potential future role of
e-CODEX, which should not be seen as only a communication platform, but as a strategic building block for the digitalisation of the Justice domain, upon which Member States supported by eu-LISA, can build an ecosystem of cross-border digital services to further support and develop judicial cooperation in Europe.
“The ongoing digital transformation of all aspects of public services in the EU is progressing at an accelerated pace. Access to justice for all EU citizens and businesses, and the ability of Member States' judicial systems to effectively fight crime, increasingly depends on digital solutions and efficient information exchange. Hence, the opportunities offered by modern digital technologies should be explored and exploited without delay in order to accelerate the process of digitalising Justice in the EU," emphasised eu-LISA Executive Director
The ministers also discussed and endorsed a revised entry into operation timetable for the Schengen Information System (SIS) recast and the Entry/Exit System (EES), underlining the strategic importance of Interoperability for the EU's internal security and a well-functioning Schengen system.
“The implementation of interoperability of systems should not be underestimated. This is an extremely complex task, and we will certainly face a number of challenges in its implementation. eu-LISA remains fully committed to continue working with Member States, the Commission and partner Agencies to implement this at the highest pace. We are confident that together we will put in place the most advanced global information architecture for border management and internal security seen to date,” said Krum Garkov.
Photos: Czech Presidency of the EU Council