PES Ministers commit to more cooperation to improve prisons



Fair penalties and prison systems in Europe were the top of the agenda when EU Justice Ministers from the Party of European Socialists (PES) met ahead of the Justice and Home Affairs Council (JHA) in Brussels yesterday. At the meeting, chaired by Italian Minister Andrea Orlando they used this opportunity to further deepen their coordination and also debate over the latest events in the European judicial field.

The Ministers also debated at length the judicial aspects of fighting terrorism and radicalism. The participants highlighted the need to deepen judicial cooperation between Member States, in order to combat the rise of extremism and urgently implement efficient measures so as to guarantee citizens’ safety, while maintaining the openness of our societies.

Minister Orlando announced “The global terrorist phenomenon we are facing requires quick action to combat it. In order to tackle this threat, a harmonised strategy at EU level must be implemented without further delay. We have to make use of all the judiciary tools we have at our disposal, increase the exchange of information between Member States and strengthen agencies such as Eurojust. These measures must always go hand in hand with the respect of the Rule of law and the citizens’ fundamental rights.”  

The ministers agreed to meet in March for the first JHA reunion under the Netherlands presidency of the EU.

List of participants:

- Andrea Orlando, Minister of Justice, Italy, Chair

- Juozas Bernatonis, Minister of Justice, Lithuania

- Owen Bonnici, Minister of Justice, Malta

- Morgan Johansson, Minister of Justice, Sweden

- Anders Ygeman, Minister of Home Affairs, Sweden

- Josef Weidenholzer, Vice-President of S&D