Justice programme: Council presidency and European Parliament reach provisional agreement

The Council presidency and the European Parliament today reached a provisional agreement on the justice programme, which sets out the funding in this area for the period 2021-2027. This programme aims at supporting the development of an European area of justice, based on the rule of law and mutual recognition and trust, in particular by facilitating access to justice, promoting judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters and the effectiveness of national justice systems.

A well functioning EU justice area, without obstacles to cross-border access to justice, is essential to ensure economic growth and the full potential of the internal market. Much of this cooperation relies on mutual trust and the justice programme has a key role to play in strengthening it. It does this by providing the necessary support to training and exchanges between the judiciary and to the development of independent, transparent and efficient national justice systems.

Christine Lambrecht, German Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection

The programme will have a budget of €305 million and it sets out four specific objectives:

  • to facilitate and support judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters and to promote the rule of law independence and impartiality of the judiciary
  • to support and promote judicial training, with a view to fostering a common legal, judicial and rule of law culture
  • to facilitate effective and non-discriminatory access to justice for all, including by electronic means, and to support the rights of victims of crime as well as the procedural rights of suspects and accused persons

The activities funded under the programme target members of the judiciary and other legal practitioners, as well as civil society organisations. During the implementation of the programme particular attention will be given to promote gender equality, the rights of the child, the protection of victims and the effective application of the principle of equal rights and non-discrimination.