Skip to content .

Service navigation

Main Navigation


Further information

Link to opens in a new window


Press Releases


Slovenian Justice Minister Lovro Šturm speaks about future cooperation in the area of justice

The President of the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council, Dr Lovro Šturm, today presented at the Committee for Legal Affairs of the European Parliament (JURI) the results of Slovenia's Presidency of the EU Council in the area of justice.

The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs is responsible for the legal protection of the rights and competences of the European Parliament, including its participation in proceedings before the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance. The Committee is also competent for EU measures that have an impact on Member State legislation, including in the fields of civil and commercial law, corporate law, intellectual property law and procedural law, as well as environmental liability and sanctions against environmental crime.

The Minister informed the MEPs that the Council approved the report on developing the draft Common Frame of Reference on European Contract Law. This is the first Council position on the key aspects of the future Common Frame of Reference. In this respect, the academic draft of this document, which was prepared by a network of experts over several years and was presented last January, could be regarded as a positive impetus for the successful work during Slovenia's Presidency. The position taken by the Council does not prejudice the Council's future work; however, it constitutes guidelines for the Commission in their further activities.

In April, the Parliament adopted without amendment the common position of the Council and approved the adoption of the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on certain aspects of mediation in civil and commercial matters; thanks to the members of the Committee, the Directive was adopted in the second reading. The Directive will significantly contribute towards the completion of the European area of freedom, security and justice, and will benefit EU citizens by facilitating out-of-court dispute settlement and ensuring minimum standards for mediation procedures and mediators.

On 6 June, the JHA Council adopted the Regulation on the law applicable to contractual obligations (Rome I). This Regulation is a response to the increasing economic exchange, where legal certainty is of prime importance for economic operators and clients. The Regulation will replace and update the rules of the 1980 Rome Convention on the law applicable to contractual obligations.

The Minister also presented to the MEPs plans for the future of judiciary activities as prepared by the Futura Group. The Group is developing a programme in the area of justice after the five-year Hague Programme set to expire at the end of 2009. During Slovenia's Presidency, the Group has worked very intensely; at the meeting in May in Portorož the members carried out a concrete discussion and reached a fundamental agreement on the contents of the Portorož document entitled "Proposed Solutions for the Future EU Judiciary Programme". The document presents views and challenges in the area of justice that should be addressed in the future. The programme includes measures for better citizen protection, regulates the area of family affairs, facilitates the operation of economic entities and ensures better access to judicial protection.

In the field of intellectual property, the Slovenian Presidency paid significant attention to future European patent arrangement. Europe needs both an efficient judicial system on patents and an attractive Community patent. The Presidency's key purpose was to extend the general debate to a more detailed discussion on specific legislative solutions. "We are aware that there are many sensitive issues, including political ones, which necessitate further discussion; the final aim, i.e. an efficient EU patent arrangement, can, however, substantially contribute to enhanced EU competitiveness," said Minister Šturm. Further coordination within the Council will be needed to achieve a definitive common solution.

Better regulation remains one of the key priorities of the European Union. This is stressed in the conclusions of both the Spring European Council and the Competitiveness Council held in May. The Slovenian Presidency also devoted considerable attention to eliminating administrative barriers and focused its efforts on adopting the remaining legislative proposals from the first package of the so-called prompt measures. The Slovenian Presidency submitted to the European Commission a list of 40 proposals for simplification, with a view to reducing administrative barriers mainly for small and medium-sized enterprises.


Accessibility     . Print     .

Date: 27.06.2008