High-level meeting held at Ministry of Justice and Latvian Parliament
Cooperation between Eurojust and Latvia was strengthened today during a meeting between Eurojust’s President, Ms Michèle Coninsx, and Latvia’s Minister of Justice, H. E. Ms Baiba Broka, at the Ministry of Justice in Riga.
The meeting came at the invitation of the Minister in preparation for Latvia’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2015, and continues the discussions that began with a visit Ms Broka made to Eurojust in April 2014.
Following a bilateral meeting with Ms Broka at the Ministry of Justice, a roundtable discussion was held at the Latvian Parliament where a number of topics relevant to Justice and Home Affairs in light of the future Latvian Presidency were debated, including the programme of the Latvian Presidency, the ongoing reform of Eurojust, the strengthening of Eurojust’s operational effectiveness and the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) ‘from Eurojust’. On this last point, the Latvian representatives made clear that the development of the EPPO should not undermine the role of Eurojust itself.
Following the meeting, Ms Coninsx stated: ‘This is a crucial time in the development of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice, and I very much welcome the proactive manner in which the Latvian authorities are approaching the issue of judicial cooperation in the run-up to the Latvian Presidency.’
Ms Broka commented: ‘Cooperation with Eurojust provides a unique opportunity for Member States to work more closely together and to achieve effective coordination at judicial level in the fight against cross-border crime. Eurojust’s timely support is a crucial mechanism in advancing cooperation between Member States.’
Eurojust’s mission is to support and strengthen coordination and cooperation between national authorities in the fight against serious cross-border crime affecting the European Union.
In the last five years, the Latvian National Desk at Eurojust has registered 158 cases across a variety of serious crime types, including trafficking in human beings, drug trafficking (and the recruitment of ‘drug mules’), tax evasion and the corruption of high-ranking officials. The Desk has also organised 33 coordination meetings, from which operations to tackle the above crimes are coordinated.
Left to right: Mr Atis Lejiņš, Deputy Chairperson of the European Affairs Committee of the Saeima; Ms Baiba Broka, Minister of Justice; Ms Michele Coninsx, President of Eurojust; Ms Inese Lībiņa- Egnere, Representative of the Parliament; Mr Ēriks Kalnmeiers, Prosecutor General