Ministers of justice discussed issue of EU citizens extradition to third countries

Source: Croatian presidency of the EU (Croatian presidency) i, published on Thursday, June 4 2020, 10:00.

Ministers discussed the proposed regulation on the law applicable to the third-party effects of assignments of claims. This regulation will set out uniform rules to designate which national law should determine the ownership of a claim after it has been assigned on a cross border basis.

"For the single market to reach its full potential, practical obstacles to cross-border investment need to be reduced. The proposed legislation we discussed today will give businesses and consumers greater legal certainty, facilitating their access to finance" Dražen Bošnjaković, Minister of Justice of Croatia

The aim of this discussion was to provide political guidance on three aspects:

  • whether the retroactive application of the regulation should be excluded
  • whether the regulation should contain rules on priority conflicts involving novation
  • whether the principle of universality should be upheld in the regulation

In their interventions, ministers widely supported the non-retroactivity and universal application of the future instrument. They also provided their input on the topic of novation. Discussions on this proposal will now continue at technical level.

Extradition of EU citizens to third countries

Ministers exchanged views on the issue of extradition of EU citizens to third countries. Following a series of judgements from the Court of Justice in the last years, including the judgement in the Petruhhin case, some work remains to be done to address their practical implications. Ministers agreed to invite Eurojust and the European Judicial Network (EJN) to analyse how requests for the extradition of EU citizens by third countries are handled in practice, and to make suggestions in this regard.

Impact of COVID-19 in the area of justice

The Fundamental Rights Agency, Eurojust, the European Judicial Network and the Commission provided an overview of the state of play as regards the impact of COVID-19 on the EU area of justice.

The Commission reported on the setting up of the European arrest warrant coordination group, following the justice ministers videoconference on 6 April. Relevant information on the impact of COVID-19 on judicial cooperation collected by the Commission, Eurojust and the European Judicial Network (EJN) is made available through a dedicated page on the e-Justice portal. The Fundamental Rights Agency regularly elaborates reports on the fundamental rights implications of COVID-19.

Under any other business, ministers were informed of the state of play on current legislative proposals.

The Presidency also reported on the EU-US Justice and Home Affairs ministerial videoconference, which took place on 28 May. The incoming German presidency presented its work programme, which will focus on how to ensure resilience and trust in EU justice systems, access to justice, victims rights, digitalisation and artificial intelligence, disinformation and hate speech. Work will continue on ongoing legislative proposals, including e-evidence, and the setting up of EPPO.

The Commission informed ministers in writing of the state of play in the setting up of the European Public Prosecutors Office (EPPO) and the ongoing international negotiations regarding e-evidence.