EU Council Makes Progress on Various Justice and Law Enforcement Issues

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Friday, June 14, 2019
Michael Plachta

At its 3697th meeting on June 6 and 7, 2019, the European Union’s Justice and Home Affairs Council discussed and adopted position on a number of criminal justice, home, and law enforcement issues. Ministers debated the future of EU substantive criminal law based on a report presented by the Romanian presidency. The report aims to feed into the reflection process on further developing the regulatory framework in the field of EU substantive criminal law. The report and the discussion focused on the following issues: (i) defining areas where it could be necessary to broaden the regulatory framework; (ii) defining areas of substantive criminal law instruments where it could be necessary to further harmonize the sanctioning system; (iii) the need to develop a common understanding of terms that are regularly used; and (iv) analysis of the current application of the regulatory framework. While it was not possible to reach a full consensus on the issues under discussion, the Presidency has drawn some conclusions, without prejudice to the right of initiative of the Commission. Member States seem to agree that, at this stage, the emphasis should be on ensuring the effectiveness and quality of the implementation of existing EU legislation – instead of making more efforts aimed at preparing and adopting new legislative acts – and more efforts should be deployed to that effect.