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Slovenian Minister of Justice before the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE): successful conclusion of the Slovenian Presidency in the area of Justice

The President of the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council, Dr Lovro Šturm, today presented the results of the Slovenian Presidency of the EU Council in the area of justice at the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE).

The LIBE Committee is also responsible for the protection of the rights of citizens, human rights and fundamental freedoms in the territory of the EU, including establishing and developing the area of freedom, security and justice, and for agencies acting in this area.

The Minister informed the MEPs that a prototype of the European e-justice portal was opened in April 2008. The prototype was set up on an experimental basis for States participating in the project of linking up insolvency registers, which was the aim of the Slovenian Presidency.  The European e-Justice Portal will constitute a single online access point and will enable existing e-justice services to be linked. The portal is expected to be opened to the public in 2010. "'It is very important to provide the appropriate funds within the framework of the civil and criminal programme for future quality work in the e-justice field," declared Minister Šturm.

Minister Šturm informed the MEPs of the consensus reached on the proposal for a Framework Council Decision on Enforcement of Decisions Imposed in Absentia. The Slovenian Presidency concluded the negotiations in an extremely short period of time for the third pillar, given that the initiative was lodged only this year. The Framework Decision enhances the rights of citizens in that it defines in detail in what cases and under what conditions a decision imposed in the absence of a person charged may be recognised and enforced. This will enable the Member States to conduct the proceedings for recognition and enforcement of such a judicial decision in a simpler and quicker way. Consequently, better and more efficient judicial cooperation among the Member States can be expected.

During the first reading, agreement on the Directive on the protection of the environment through criminal law was reached. This is a great success both in terms of the complexity of the issues addressed and in terms of its wider importance and the sensitive area of environmental protection.  In March of this year, the Slovenian Presidency initiated discussion on the proposal for the European Parliament and Council Directive on ship-source pollution.

By working intensely, the Slovenian Presidency also succeeded in finding a well-balanced compromise between the fight against terrorism on the one hand and safeguards for ensuring human rights and freedoms on the other. In April, the Presidency managed to adopt a general approach to the above-mentioned proposal at the Justice and Home Affairs Council. It is expected that the introduction of new punishable offences (public incitement to commit terrorist acts, recruiting for terrorism and training for terrorism) will contribute to the general political aim of terrorism prevention. The purpose of the amendments is also to prevent the dissemination of material inciting individuals to commit terrorist acts via the Internet.

The Minister informed the MEPs of the agreement reached on key chapters of the Regulation on Maintenance Obligations. Among other issues, abolishment of exequatur was agreed on in all decisions of maintenance obligations, which means that no additional proceedings will be required in order to recognise and enforce foreign judicial decisions for all maintenance creditors.


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Date: 27.06.2008