Commissioners Reynders, Johansson and Várhelyi attend EU-Western Balkans ministerial videoconference on Justice and Home Affairs©European Union, 2021, Source: EC - Audiovisual Service
On 22 October, Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, and Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, will participate in the EU-Western Balkans ministerial videoconference on Justice and Home Affairs, organised by the German Presidency of the Council. In the morning, Commission Johansson and ministers from the region will discuss cooperation on migration management, including: intensifying regional information exchange between Western Balkans partners, improving information systems, and enhancing reception and asylum capacity in light of the New Pact on Migration and Asylum. Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi, will also participate in this first discussion. Following a presentation by Europol on ongoing counter-terrorism cooperation in the region, ministers will also discuss current challenges linked to terrorism and violent extremism, including progress on the implementation of the Joint Action Plan on Counter-terrorism for the Western Balkans. Finally, enhancing operational cooperation to tackle organised crime will be discussed, as will the EU’s new Action Plan on firearms trafficking and the Action Plan on drugs. In the afternoon, Commissioner Reynders will join the ministers to discuss the pandemic and its impacts on the justice systems and fundamental rights, including the use of distance communication technologies in trials, guarantees in place to ensure respect of the right to a fair trial, protection of victims of domestic violence, procedures to uphold rule of law, and the proportionality of measures taken to mitigate the crisis. Ministers will then focus on access to justice in the digital age, in particular the benefits of digitalisation of justice that could enhance the quality and efficiency of justice systems, as well as specific areas where further efforts are needed in the region. Finally, Commissioner Reynders will update participants on the implementation of two projects for the measurement of justice system performance in the region and will present the latest developments on rule of law within the Union, including the first Rule of Law Report.