Press Release - Visa and migration issues, transnational crime and judicial cooperation on the table
03.10.2012, 14:50 (CET)
Progress in the implementation of the EU-Russia Roadmap for the Common Space of Freedom Security and Justice, visa and migration issues, transnational crime and judicial cooperation were among the topics discussed at today’s 16th Meeting of the EU-Russia Permanent Partnership Council on Freedom, Security and Justice in Nicosia.

EU and Russian top officials took a step forward concerning the cooperation between the two parties in the field of freedom, justice and security, at today’s 16th meeting of the relevant EU-Russia Permanent Partnership Council in Nicosia.  The two parties had the opportunity to review the progress made in the implementation of the Roadmap for the Common Space of Freedom Security and Justice. They also discussed a number of critical matters, including visa and migration issues, transnational crime and judicial cooperation.

The Cyprus Presidency was represented by the Ministers of Justice, Mr. Loucas Louca and of  Interior, Ms. Eleni Mavrou, while the Commisioner of Home Affairs, Ms. Cecilia Malmström participated on behalf of the European Commission.  The Russian delegation was represented by the Minister of Justice, Mr. Alexander Konovalov and the Minister of Interior, Mr. Vladimir Kolokoltsev.

Visa facilitation

During the meeting, the two sides welcomed the ongoing implementation of the “Common Steps towards visa free short term travel for Russian and EU citizens” adopted at the EU –Russia Summit on December 15, 2011 and reconfirmed their willingness to progress in joint work within that context. Regarding the negotiations on amendments to the 2006 Russia-EU visa facilitation agreement, Ms. Mavrou said: “We welcome the substantial progress in the negotiations on amendments to the visa facilitation agreement and look forward to the finalisation of those negotiations."

While emphasising the importance of effective implementation of the EU–Russia Readmission agreement, EU and Russia welcomed the progress achieved so far in concluding implementation protocols and stressed the need to conclude the remaining implementation protocols between Russia and EU Member States. Both parties also welcomed the significant progress achieved in the continuing dialogue on migration and endorsed the Work Plan for 2013-2014 looking forward to its implementation.

Combating transnational crime

The two parties emphasised their common interest in closely cooperating in the fight against transnational crime and pointed out the significant progress made in the negotiations on an operational agreement between Europol and Russia, which constitutes a substantial enhancement of the cooperation between the two parties in this field.   

In the field of police cooperation the EU and Russian officials reviewed their cooperation so far, while they agreed on the need to further utilise the possibilities that exist, by organising common police operations and exchanging good practices, knowledge and expertise on issues of drugs, money laundering and other serious crimes as well as security in major events in the light of 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Russia.  

With regard to the common fight against corruption, both sides  welcomed the organisation of the first expert seminar held in Moscow last December as well as the forthcoming  conference, which is planned to be held in Brussels by the end of this year. 

In addition, they reconfirmed their commitment to strengthen their cooperation and efforts to combat trafficking in human beings. To that end they agreed that a meeting should be held in order for their respective authorities to explore practical ways to advance cooperation.

Enhancing Judicial  Cooperation

The two parties acknowledged the need to strengthen judicial cooperation on criminal matters as well as civil and commercial law.  Among others, , Russia’s accession to the 1980 Hague Convention on Child Abduction and to the 1996 Hague Convention on Child Protection were highlighted as significant developments..  Furthermore, they looked at the negotiations underway concerning a cooperation agreement between the Russian Federation and EUROJUST as well as issues of human rights and the rule of law, which constitute an aspect of EU-Russia Federation Partnership for Modernisation.

Presidency Spokesperson in Cyprus
Costas Yennaris

Mobile: +357 99400234
Communications Officer
Dina Kapardis

Ministry of Interior
EU Affairs Unit
Telephone: +357 22867721
Communications Officer
Lefki Solomontos

Ministry of Justice & Public Order

Telephone: +357 22805996

Watch the press conference here

Find more related photos here




'FILOXENIA' Conference Centre, Lefkosia (Nicosia)

Aglantzia Avenue
Coordinates35.154564 33.379765