As I said at the beginning of the Portuguese Presidency, strengthening the rule of law and the protection of fundamental rights, and responding effectively to serious crime with a transnational dimension, are essential for Europe to be an area in which people feel free, safe and protected.
Eurojust plays a key role in these matters by facilitating, promoting, supporting and coordinating judicial cooperation in criminal matters.
The Portuguese Presidency semester is approaching its end and I recall the active intervention of Portugal to ensure that Argentina, Brazil and Colombia were included in the list of countries with which cooperation agreements will be concluded, in line with the interests of Eurojust.
We have included the issue of the links between counterfeiting and organised crime in the EU's political agenda, bearing in mind the seriousness and extent of this reality and its harmful effects on the economy and on the health and safety of citizens. We proposed that progress be made in ratifying the Council of Europe's MEDICRIME Convention and in adopting common minimum rules on criminalisation and sanctions, in order to make judicial cooperation more effective and to strengthen the role of Eurojust.
We sought to highlight the judicial aspects of the EU Strategy to Tackle Organised Crime 2021-2025 and the EU Strategy on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings 2021-2025, drawing attention to the need for a multidisciplinary approach where the action of the national judicial authorities and Eurojust should be enhanced.
The Eurojust National Desks, as the interface with the judicial authorities of the Member States, play a decisive role in this context, and therefore deserve our full support.
Francisca Van Dunem
Minister of Justice of Portugal