Ministers to consider measures to promote a European justice system

The Justice and Home Affairs Council will meet in Luxembourg on 14 April to discuss measures designed to co-ordinate criminal and civil justice across the Union.

The Council will try to advance the general discussion on the “principle of availability”, which was set out in the Hague programme, as the basis for exchange of information among member states. Six types of information are under consideration, including fingerprints, DNA, vehicle registrations and telephone numbers. Questions to be discussed are how such information would be stored, who would have access to it and what purposes it could be used for.

Also on the agenda are criminal record exchange (see EURACTIV 18 March 2005) and the scope of the proposed European payment order for the recovery of small debts (EURACTIV 16 March 2005). Ministers will discuss whether to accept the Commission’s proposal that the order should apply both to national and to cross-border procedures.

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