Important progress was made at the meeting of the Justice Ministers of EU Member States held on 8 June 2017 in Luxembourg.

The Council adopted conclusions with respect to the protection of migrant children. In the context of the document, it is of particular significance that the Member States make it clear that action must be taken in order to prevent the illegal arrival of migrant children in Europe. The text additionally also makes reference to the management of the circumstances giving rise to migration and the fight against human traffickers and people smugglers. Given that Hungary itself is particularly affected by the pressure of migration, Justice Minister László Trócsányi highlighted that abuses related to the age stated in the absence of documents cause significant problems, and the precise and swift determination of the age by experts is particularly important. The Minister mentioned as a further grave problem that the vast majority of migrant children disappear during the asylum proceedings, and they are most likely to fall victim to people smugglers. This phenomenon in turn also jeopardises the efficiency of the guarding of the borders and in consequence, the security of the Schengen Area.

The Member States agreed on the draft of the text that will constitute the basis for further action in respect of several EU regulations: they adopted a general approach, inter alia, with respect to the directive regarding the supply of digital content which serves to remove the obstacles service providers and consumers are experiencing in the course of the cross-border trading of digital contents (downloading of music and films, cloud services and Community media). The Ministers further came to an agreement on the action to be taken to counter money laundering and the appropriate treatment of personal data by EU institutions.

In the debate on the review of the Brussels IIa Regulation which constitutes the foundation stone of family law cooperation, Mr Trócsányi highlighted that children should be given a chance to be heard in every instance in proceedings related to the parents’ responsibility, whilst retaining the right of deliberation of the courts of the Member States also with regard to the best interests of children.

The Council further conducted a debate regarding the draft of the new directive concerning insolvency proceedings which allows businesses struggling with financial difficulties to regroup their debts and to conduct talks with their creditors. In the debate, the Minister argued in favour of rules which provide the broadest possible scope for the Member States.

In conjunction with the meeting, Mr Trócsányi also had talks with the representatives of the V4 partner countries, the Slovak Minister and the Polish and Czech State Secretaries for Justice, as well as with the Justice Ministers of the BENELUX countries with respect to the planned judicial programme of the Hungarian V4 Presidency to begin on 1 July 2017, including the ministerial meeting to be held, as expected in September, on the issues of victim protection and legal assistance.

(Ministry of Justice)