Vivian Reding on European Justice Policy

Call to national leaders at the European Council by Vivian Reding

Viviane Reding
Vice-President of the European Commission, EU Justice Commissioner

Justice past, justice present and justice future – three messages to the European Council

Event at the Centre for European Policy Studies

Brussels, 20 June 2014

Main messages of the speech

My call to national leaders at the European Council next week: Don’t discuss only about ‘people’ (and the jobs they should get) but also focus on policies for people.

The Lisbon Treaty was a game-changer for EU justice policy: no more deals done by national governments by behind closed doors; law-making in this policy area has thus become a lot more democratic and transparent.

The 2010s justice policy developments were comparable to the developments in the Internal Market in the 1990s. Over the past four years through over 60 initiatives, we have laid the building blocks of a true European area of freedom, justice and security at the service of citizens.

Justice policy used to be a rather isolated area, often perceived as “a playground for lawyers”. Today, justice has become an instrument to boost economic growth and employment.

Justice policy used to be held hostage to security concerns, consisting mostly of knee-jerk reactions to the latest scare that left no room for the needs and concerns of citizens. We have changed that by putting citizens first.

EU Justice Policy in future needs strategic priorities to tackle challenges. I see three tasks: to build more trust, promote mobility and contribute to economic growth.

The new rule of law framework is now in place and operational. Respect for the rule of law is the prerequisite for the protection of all fundamental rights. Fundamental rights would be an empty shell without the rule of law.

EU citizens’ right to free movement is not up for negotiation. The four freedoms – people, goods, services and capital – go together. No one has a right to pick and choose

By 2020, a true European area of Justice should exist. Citizens and businesses deserve nothing less.

Download or view the full speech – [Here]

Speech: Justice past, justice present and justice future – three messages to the European Council
European Commission – SPEECH/14/481 20/06/2014

This text is taken from europa.eu Press releases database.