The modernization of justice systems in EU member states will enable EU citizens and businesses faster, more cost-efficient and generally more efficient access to justice. During the meeting, the German presidency presented draft conclusions about how technology can better enable that access.

Justice ministers were also informed about the most recent legislative developments regarding proposals on electronic evidence. These would allow courts to exchange written materials digitally and to take evidence from witnesses via video conference. The European Commission also reported on ongoing international negotiations on proposals around e-evidence.

Dialogue on the Charter of Fundamental Rights

The German presidency also presented draft conclusions on the Charter of Fundamental Rights as they relate to artificial intelligence and digitalisation. The draft conclusions will contribute to the debate about digitalisation in the EU and how best to protect citizens' rights in the face of such technological change.

In the future, measures taken to combat right-wing extremism and antisemitism should happen at pan-European level too and there was also a discussion on the topics of antisemitism and hate speech with Michael O'Flaherty, Director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights.

Initiatives to combat sexual abuse of children

Following a presentation by the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, EU justice ministers discussed legal questions around EU strategies to fight the sexual abuse of children, as well as the development and implementation of a legislative framework to provide improved protection for children from sexual abuse.

The European Commission and European Chief Prosecutor, Laura Codruţa Kövesi, also told member states about the latest developments in the process of setting up the first European Public Prosecutor’s Office.

German Minister Justice Christine Lambrecht's statement upon arrival at the Videoconference of EU Ministers of Justice

Doorstep by Christine Lambrecht, Federal Minister for Justice and Consumer Protection