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Press Release
Luc Frieden on a working trip to Berlin

Date of release : 11-02-2005

Policy area : Justice and Home Affairs Justice and Home Affairs

Luc Frieden, Minister of Justice and current President of the "Justice and Home Affairs" Council, was in Berlin on a working trip on Friday, 11 February.

The main subject of his meetings with Federal Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries were the efforts of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union to move ahead with the European judicial area, particularly in the matter of criminal and civil law. In this context, the issue of the European criminal record and the fight against racism and xenophobia took centre stage, as these issues are also topics for the Council meeting to be held in late February. Minister Frieden indicated that during the next meeting of the JHA Council, the Presidency intends to clarify whether the Justice Ministers are unanimously in favour of a ban on Nazi symbols in the EU, or if this issue still comes under the jurisdiction of the Member States. According to Luc Frieden, progress on a European level would be desirable and would send a strong signal in the fight against racism and xenophobia.

Regarding the project of a European criminal record, Minister Frieden stated: "In a common European judicial area, offenders should not be able to hide from justice by changing their place of residence. A European criminal record could make a decisive contribution to this." During the conversations between Ministers Zypries and Frieden, various possibilities for networking national criminal records were discussed.

During the conversations between Minister Frieden and the Federal Minister of the Interior, Otto Schily, the main topics addressed were bilateral and European matters related to the fight against terrorism and crime as well as cooperation among police forces.

A better exchange of data in police matters among the EU States was also discussed. Regarding this subject, Minister Frieden stated: "The initial contacts under the Luxembourg Presidency have shown that, despite a European Council decision that aims to improve the data exchange, the implementation of the exchange continues to be highly problematic. We agree with Germany that over the coming months we will move toward customized solutions according to the nature of the databases and toward solutions that are able not only to meet the requirements of successful police work, but that can also appropriately protect privacy."

This page was last modified on : 12-02-2005

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