The EU Ministers of Justice reached unanimous consent on one of the main priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency – the amendments to the Regulation concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility, as well as concerning the international abduction of children.

At today’s meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council of the European Union in Brussels, the Austrian Minister of Justice Josef Moser thanked Minister Tsetska Tsacheva on behalf of the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union for Bulgaria’s contribution to the intensive work on this file of special sensitivity and complexity.
Minister Tsacheva stated that the result of the future application of the so called Regulation Brussels IIа would create legal certainty about the rights of children of parents living in different countries as well as predictability in the event of separation of international couples.
The goal is to improve the current rules for the protection of children in the event of disputes with an international element related to parental rights, right of access to the children and abduction of children by one parent. An important goal of the new provisions is to guarantee faster proceedings taking into account that time is of the essence to protect the best interest of children in such cross-border disputes.
It is expected that the Regulation will become effective next year, following the completion of additional technical work.
During the meeting, the Council reached a common approach on two more important acts related to the rights of the European citizens – the Regulation on European Production and Preservation Orders for electronic evidence in relation to cross-border investigations and the Directive on the contracts for the sale of goods to improve consumer rights. Trilateral talks are to be held in relation to both acts with the European Parliament and the European Commission; the intention is for them to be adopted fully before the end of the term of office of the European Parliament.
The Council also adopted conclusions about the mutual recognition on criminal matters and the mutual trust in the justice systems of the Member States.
The Ministers of Justice became familiar with the current status of the work of the European Commission on the drafts of negotiation mandates concerning a treaty between the EU and the USA to facilitate the access to electronic evidence and about the Second Additional Protocol to the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime.
Information was presented about the stage of preparation to apply the Regulation on the European Public Prosecutor’s Office.
During the working lunch, the Ministers of Justice discussed the topic of the more effective fight against anti-Semitism by means of criminal law.