To prepare for the upcoming Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Eurojust has today hosted a meeting with Slovenian Justice Minister Ms Lilijana Kozlovič. During this meeting with Eurojust President Mr Ladislav Hamran and Vice-President Mr Boštjan Škrlec (National Member for Slovenia), existing judicial cooperation with Slovenia and future strategic initiatives were also discussed.
Slovenia will hold the Presidency of the Council during the second half of this year. During its Presidency, the Slovenian government wants to put extra focus on the fight against hate speech and hate crime, and the ethical and fundamental rights aspects of artificial intelligence. Further priorities are victims’ and children’s rights and the accession of the EU to the European Convention on Human Rights and to the judgment convention.
Another priority of the Slovenian Presidency will be the digitalisation of justice, in which Eurojust will play a major role. The Agency has already been tasked by the European Commission to roll out a project to enable the full digitalisation of the judiciary across the EU over the coming years.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has only increased the demand to speed up this digitalisation process. Eurojust has already played a major role in this process, enabling operational continuity during the pandemic and increasing the number of cases for complex cross-border judicial cooperation registered at the Agency last year to 8 800, an increase of 13 % compared to the previous year.
In 2020, Slovenia dealt with 473 cases, of which in 319 other Member States and third countries requested cooperation with the Slovenian judicial authorities. The Slovenian National Desk at Eurojust opened 154 cases for cooperation with others. In the first four months of this year, 99 requests for judicial cooperation with other Member States or third countries have been made by the Slovenian National Desk at Eurojust.
Slovenia plays a major strategic role in Eurojust’s priority for cooperation with the Western Balkans. Four cooperation agreements have already been signed in this priority region, with Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, with a fifth agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina in progress.