Presidency of the Council of the EU

Priorities in the Justice Sector

Criminal law

The establishment of a strong and independent European Public Prosecutor’s Office will contribute to the effective protection of the financial interests of the Union. The Bulgarian Presidency will work in close cooperation with the Commission on the organisational and logistical matters related to the functioning of the Office and to building up the relations with partner institutions and services, including EUROJUST, Europol, OLAF, third countries, and international organisations.

On the basis of the progress during the Estonian Presidency, the Bulgarian Presidency will continue intensive negotiations towards reaching an agreement with the European Parliament on the revised EUROJUST Regulation and on the draft Directive on countering money laundering by criminal law.

The centralized European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS-TCN) will substantially facilitate the exchange of information on previous convictions of third country nationals between the Member States. In this regard, the goal is to start as early as possible trialogues with the European Parliament on the draft legislation extending the ECRIS-TCN.

Following the objective to enhance the recognition and enforcement of judgments in criminal matters throughout the European Union, substantial progress should be reached in the negotiations on the draft Regulation on the mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders.

Common European solutions in the field of collecting and exchanging e-evidence are needed to enhance the cross-border cooperation between the law enforcement authorities and the fight against crime and terrorism. The Bulgarian Presidency aims to start and advance the discussions in the Council on this new legislative initiative.

The Bulgarian Presidency will work intensively towards achieving a general approach on the proposed draft Directive on fighting fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment.

Civil law

The Brussels IIa Regulation is the cornerstone of the judicial cooperation in family matters in the European Union. Our aim is to strengthen the principle of mutual trust in the legal systems of the Member States and free movement of judicial decisions and to contribute to the observation of the best interests of the child in the legal proceedings. In order to accomplish this objective the negotiatioms need to be streamlined for a successful completion in the Council on the recast proposal of the regulation.

Intensive discussions are ongoing in the Council on the issues related to the preventive restructuring, second chance and measures to increase the efficiency of restructuring, insolvency and discharge procedures. The Bulgarian Presidency will continue to consolidate the progress on the Proposal for a Directive on preventive restructuring and second chance.

The Bulgarian Presidency will also work actively to advance the negotiations on the proposals included into the contract law package. Regarding the draft Directive on certain aspects of the contracts for the supply of digital content, we are prepared to engage actively in trialogues with a view to reaching political agreement between co-legislators. We will continue the discussions on the amended Proposal for a Directive on certain aspects concerning contracts for the sale of goods.

E-Justice

The Bulgarian Presidency will hold intensive discussions on the preparation of the new EU e- Justice Strategy. The development and the promotion of e-Justice and technologies in the judicial activity on European level will simplify the exchange of documents and data within the legal proceedings and will eliminate some administrative burdens. The future of e-Justice should take into account the best interests of the citizens and businesses. The need for secure, sustainable, and interoperable electronic information exchange tools should be reflected in the new e-Justice Strategy and Action Plan for 2019-2023.

Data protection

We will also work towards the final adoption of the Regulation on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices, and agencies.