EU and Eastern Partnership Partners Discuss Strengthening Law Enforcement

On Thursday 29 January, the second joint EU and Eastern Partnership Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting took place in Riga. Ministers discussed the progress in judicial and law enforcement area.

At the opening of the meeting the Latvian Minister for Justice, Dzintars Rasnačs stressed: "It is more important than ever to be united, rely on one another and discuss mutual support. We are experiencing security crisis in Ukraine, which poses also a threat to the EU's security. Therefore, our close cooperation, sincere dialogue and trust are of utmost important."

"I would like to emphasise the importance of continuing our mutual cooperation by strengthening institutional capacity of the law enforcement institutions in the area of information exchange, training and sharing of best practices. This cooperation should continue within the bilateral and multilateral cooperation framework of the Eastern Partnership," added the Latvian Minister for the Interior Rihards Kozlovskis.

During the meeting Ministers of the Eastern Partnership countries and the EU partners discussed cooperation aimed at strengthening law enforcement and efforts for the support of independence and accountability of the judiciary and prosecutors. The Ministers expressed support for closer cooperation of the law enforcement institutions with the aim to establish efficient cooperation methods to fight corruption and strengthen the independence of judges and prosecutors and ensure prosecutorial reforms. Ministers also discussed possible common ways forward taking into account the possibilities of the existing bilateral and multilateral framework of the Eastern Partnership cooperation.

The Presidency and the European Commission adopted a joint statement on the continuation of cooperation with Eastern Partnership countries in the justice and home affairs field.

The Presidency intends to assess the results of this discussion in view of the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit on 21-22 May 2015 in Riga, Latvia.

The Eastern Partnership is a framework within the European Neighbourhood policy for cooperation with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.