The Hague, 01 July 2013
On 1 July 2013, Lithuania took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from Ireland. This is the first occasion Lithuania has held the Presidency since its accession to the European Union in 2004, and it will hold the Presidency until 31 December, when it will hand over to Greece.
The Lithuanian Presidency will focus on the three goals of a credible, growing and open Europe and will continue to implement the priorities of the Stockholm Programme, namely an open and secure Europe serving and protecting citizens. In the area of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA), the emphasis will be on the protection of the European Union's financial interests. One of the priorities for the Lithuanian Presidency is the proposal on the Protection of the Euro against Counterfeiting, and the intensive discussions already held on this matter will be continued in the hope of achieving a general approach by the end of 2013.
Ms Laima Čekelienė, National Member for Lithuania at Eurojust, commented:
“During the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the majority of decisions related to EU legislation will be taken at the Permanent Representation of Lithuania in Brussels. Other institutions, including the Prosecutor General’s Office, will also contribute to the activities during the Lithuanian Presidency.
In addition, I am very pleased to note that during the Lithuanian Presidency the following meetings will be jointly organised by Eurojust and the Prosecutor General’s Office:
- The 15th Meeting of the Network on the investigation and prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The meeting will take place on 29 and 30 October 2013 at Eurojust’s premises in The Hague. The main topic of the meeting will be corporate criminal responsibility and the criminal responsibility of business persons for serious international crimes;
- The Eurojust strategic meeting on the prevention and fight against EU cross-border tax and customs fraud: combating excise and MTIC fraud. The meeting will take place on 14 and 15 November 2013 at Eurojust’s premises;
- The meeting of the Consultative Forum of Prosecutors General and Directors of Public Prosecutions of the EU Member States will be held on 12 and 13 December 2013 at Eurojust’s premises”.
Work will also proceed on the Directive on the Fight against Fraud. This initiative is closely related to the Establishment of a European Public Prosecutor’s Office. The Lithuanian Presidency also hopes to achieve a consensus on the proposal on the Confiscation of Assets, and on the directive on the European Investigation Order.
One of the horizontal strategic priority areas for the Lithuanian Presidency will be to contribute to the development of the Eastern Partnership, to strengthen political and operational cooperation and promote closer integration between the European Union and its Eastern Partners in the area of JHA. Moreover, the Lithuanian Presidency will seek the continuation of the enlargement policy, free trade with strategic partners and effective management of the European Union’s external borders to promote JHA cooperation with other strategic partner countries and regions, including the USA, Russia and the Western Balkans.
For more information, please contact:
Mr Joannes THUY, Spokesperson - Head of Press & PR Service
EUROJUST - Maanweg 174, 2516 AB, The Hague, the Netherlands
Tel +31 70 412 5508