The efficiency and quality of the administration of justice are now at the centre of public attention both outside and within the European Union, Justice Minister László Trócsányi said at a conference of the Ministry of Justice and the European Public Law Organization (EPLO) held on Thursday in Budapest.

At the international conference entitled Justice Cooperation with Member Candidate and Neighbouring States of the European Union, the Justice Minister said today the citizens of the European Union are free to decide which Member State they wish to live, work, study or, for that matter, get married in. At the same time, the free movement of persons compels countries to cooperate in law enforcement as well as in the area of the administration of justice.

Without prompt mutual legal aid, the administration of justice “would become cumbersome” due to the mere fact that the accused or witnesses reside in another Member State, or because obstacles would emerge to the procurement of evidence generated abroad, he said.

From among the areas of criminal law cooperation, Mr Trócsányi mentioned regulations adopted with a view to preventing the financing of terrorism, while in the area of international civil law cases he highlighted that the settlement of international family law issues is particularly important.

He said that as justice minister he took part in the elaboration of the EU’s data protection reform. In the past few decades, there has been a drastic increase in global data sharing and collection, and also under these changed circumstances it is necessary to ensure the protection of personal data. And whilst protecting personal data, it is necessary to enable the free flow of such data, and to ensure that no undue burdens are imposed on economic actors, he said.

He described the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as a significant milestone, adding that each company, whether local or international, which is engaged in business activities in the EU or manages the data of EU citizens must comply with the new regulations.

He observed that the EU is seeking to play a pioneering role in the field of data protection regulation, and to serve as a model for the development of international standards.

Mr Trócsányi highlighted that due to a drastic increase in mobility and the unprecedented spread of digitisation, the physical protection of geographical borders, as well as the regulation and control of the movement of persons, goods, services, capital and data are among the most important tasks of the state. Therefore, the EU cannot shut itself up in its ivory tower, it must listen to partner countries outside the EU, and they must develop a framework for cooperation together, he said.

Spyridon Flogaitis, Director of EPLO said the representatives of 17 countries take part in the organisation’s work. EPLO is engaged in education, research and international cooperation. He recalled that thirty years ago the organisation was called to life by the desire of its members to find a solution to the future of Europe, not only for the EU’s Member States, but equally for all the residents of the continent, and to initiate a dialogue with societies outside Europe.

(Ministry of Justice/MTI)