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NEWS

Press Release - JHA Council gives green light to Cyprus Presidency priorities
07.12.2012, 18:25 (CET)
The last formal European Justice and Home Affairs Council under the Cyprus Presidency has gone through a heavy agenda today, in Brussels. Cyprus’  Minister of Justice and Public Order, Mr. Loucas Louca, chaired the meeting.  All the priorities of the Cyprus EU Presidency regarding the field of Justice have been discussed and  the Council has reached an agreement on a number of crucial issues  aiming at more security, justice and protection of EU citizens.

The Justice and Home Affairs Council has reached a general agreement on the proposal for a directive on the freezing and confiscation of assets of proceeds of crime that had been a key priority of the Cyprus Presidency from the outset.  

“In today’s challenging economic conditions whereby money must remain to the legal economy,  these  Proposal can drastically contribute to eliminating financial incentives for criminals”, stressed the Cypriot Minister of Justice and Public Order.

Inter alia, the directive enables Member States to confiscate assets without previous conviction under certain circumstances, as well as assets that do not constitute the direct proceed of a crime, yet they are disproportionate to the income of a person previously convicted for a serious crime.

Furthermore, an agreement was 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. The directive mainly aims at depriving criminals of taking advantage of the differences in national legal systems to manipulate the EU market.

More protection to the victims of crime

The Council adopted the proposal for a regulation on European protection measures in civil matters, bringing  the EU another step closer to better victims protection. The Regulation virtually ensures that the victims, even when travelling or moving to another Member State, will continue to benefit from protection measures against their offender, such as the obligation not to contact or the obligation not to approach the protected person, without formalities and complex procedures.

Progress on Data Protection

As regards the data protection issue, the Council adopted the Progress Report on Data Protection Reform Package, drafted by the Cyprus Presidency, with special focus on certain aspects of the highly important legislative framework, aiming at better control in personal data and boost to growth.

Expressing her satisfaction concerning the efforts made by the Cyprus Presidency, the EU Commissioner of Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, Mrs. Viviane Reding, said that the news of the day is that the overwhelming majority of the delegations support the Proposal, as well as the efforts made by the Cyprus Presidency.  “Therefore on the basis of today’ progress report, there should be  an agreement under the Irish Presidency”, the Commissioner added.

In addition, the JHA Council adopted political guidelines on the proposal for a Regulation creating a European Account Preservation Order to facilitate cross border debt recovery in civil and commercial matters. This proposal, which has been one of the priorities of the Cyprus Presidency in the area of civil justice co-operation, is particularly important in these times of economic crisis because it can boost economic growth by facilitating cross-border debt recovery and cross-border commerce. The proposal puts in place an efficient and carefully crafted mechanism which will be of great benefit to creditors throughout the EU, while also safeguarding the rights of the debtors.

Finally, the JHA Council adopted political guidelines on two proposals for Regulations on matrimonial property regimes and the property consequences of registered partnerships, respectively. Their adoption by the Council will pave the way for substantial progress to be achieved on both Regulations intending to facilitate the solution of property disputes between former spouses and registered partners in transnational cases in the EU.

Presidency Spokesperson in Brussels
Nikos Christodoulides

Coreper II

Email: nchristodoulides@mfa.gov.cy
Telephone: +32 27395152
Mobile: +32 473400441
Communications Officer
Lefki Solomontos

Ministry of Justice & Public Order

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

Watch the press conference here

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