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Press Release - “Impressive account of the Cyprus Presidency on justice and security”
18.12.2012, 13:25 (CET)
The positive results achieved during the Cyprus Presidency towards enhancing justice, security and protection of the rights of the EU citizens were the focus of the presentations by Cyprus’ Minister of Justice and Public Order, Mr. Loucas Louca, before the two relevant Committees of the European Parliament (EP).  Yesterday, Mr. Louca debriefed the Committee of Legal Affairs (JURI) and  today the Committee of Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE).

“We will feel the effects of the Cyprus Presidency for the decades to come”, said Mrs Cecilia Wikström, MEP of the JURI Committee, while the President of the  Committee Mr. Klaus-Heiner Lehne, talked of a very impressive account of the Cyprus Presidency.   

In yesterday’s presentation before the JURI Committee, Mr. Louca highlighted the successful completion of negotiations with the European Parliament as regards the proposal for a recast of the so-called ‘Brussels I Regulation’, which is the cornerstone of judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters in the EU.

The agreement with the EP paves the way for simplifying the existing rules on jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgments and for removing the remaining obstacles to the free movement of judicial decisions in favour of numerous categories of EU citizens, inter alia employees and consumers.    

“The Presidency completed what it had promised”

The minister also elaborated on the decisive steps taken within the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council as regards a number of other important proposals aiming at facilitating and protecting the citizens of the Union in civil and commercial matters, all being key priorities of the Cyprus Presidency.         

In this context, Mr. Louca briefed the Committee on the general agreement on the regulation on European Protection measures in civil matters which can decisively enhance victims protection throughout the EU.

Furthermore, he outlined the political guidelines adopted by the Council on the proposal for a Regulation creating a European Account Preservation Order to facilitate cross border debt recovery in civil and commercial matters

The adoption of political guidelines concerning two important proposals in the field of family law was also included in the minister’s Presentation.  These are the proposals for regulations on matrimonial property regimes and the property consequences of registered partners which intend to facilitate the solution of property disputes between former spouses and registered partners respectively in transnational cases in the EU.

“The Presidency completed what it had promised”, said MEP, Mr Tadeusz Zwiefska. 

Combating serious crime and strengthening security and police cooperation

Today, Cyprus’ Minister of Justice and and Public Order debriefed the LIBE Committee on the general agreement of the Council on the proposal on freezing and confiscating proceeds of crime in the EU, which had been a key priority of the Cyprus Presidency from the outset.

Furthermore, he highlighted the agreement reached at Council level with respect to the proposal for a directive concerning insider dealing and market manipulation, which has also been a priority of the Cyprus Presidency.

Specific reference was made to the initiatives of the Presidency regarding the fight against terrorism, which resulted in the adoption of Council Conclusions on maximising aviation security against terrorism threats and enhancing protection of civilians, so called soft targets of terrorism. 

Striving to contribute to the building of an open yet, safe Europe, the Cyprus Presidency gave particular emphasis to the enhancement of police cooperation to combat various types of serious cross-border crime.  Mr. Louca outlined the most significant initiatives and actions of the Presidency on a broad spectrum of issues within the area of police cooperation, including the following:     

  • fighting cybercrime with particular emphasis on sexual abuse and exploitation of children on the internet    
  • Improving information exchange    
  • Preventing  and fighting  of Illicit trafficking of antiquities and works of art  
  • Enhancing police cooperation through common police operations of the Member States. 
  • Obtaining more efficiency in the investigation of cases of domestic violence. 

As regards data protection, the minister elaborated on the steps taken during the Presidency towards promoting the Data Protection Reform Package. The adoption of the Progress Report drafted by the Presidency within the Council, was considered to be a step forward concerning this highly important legislative framework aiming at better control in personal data and boost to growth.

Referring to the Schengen governance package, the Minister stressed the commitment of the Presidency in conducting its work together with the European Parliament, aiming at finding a mutually accepted basis towards resolving the differences between the Council and the European Parliament.

Regarding the accession of Bulgaria and Romania into the Schengen area, the Minister highlighted the strenuous efforts of the Presidency for a decision to be taken by the Council, which has not been possible yet.  “Still, the Presidency took steps that will facilitate decision-making by the Council as soon as possible, including the review of the implementation of the measures to contribute to the successful enlargement of the Schengen Area, as these have been set on the basis of the relevant mandate by the European Council”,  Mr. Louca concluded.

Presidency Spokesperson in Brussels
Nikos Christodoulides

Coreper II

Email: nchristodoulides@mfa.gov.cy
Telephone: +32 27395152
Mobile: +32 473400441
EU Affairs Counsellor
Elena Panayiotou

Ministry of Justice & Public Order
JHA Council & CATS Committee Coordinator
Email: epanayiotou@mjpo.gov.cy
Telephone: +357 22805982
Communications Officer
Lefki Solomontos

Ministry of Justice & Public Order

Email: lsolomontos@mjpo.gov.cy
Telephone: +357 22805996

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