Today's Justice Council made important progress on the building of a true European area of Justice that works for citizens and businesses. Ministers adopted the Commission's proposal to facilitate the recovery of cross-border debts. They also agreed on the Commission’s proposal updating EU rules on the jurisdiction of courts and recognition of judgments, the (...)
Today the Commission took a step further in the creation of a truly European area of justice with five new proposals to strengthen fair trial rights of citizens in criminal proceedings throughout the European Union. "Before 2010, Lady Justice was holding two swords and no scales. Since then the Commission has taken action to bring a new balance into justice (...)
Over the last decade, despite an intense public debate and some voluntary initiatives, little has changed to improve the gender balance in boardrooms across Europe. Today the European Parliament voted to back the European Commission’s proposed law to improve the gender balance in Europe’s company boardrooms.
The Justice portfolio is new – it was only created with the start of this European Commission, under the leadership of President José Manuel Barroso, in 2010. I am thus the first EU Justice Commissioner who is also responsible for citizenship and fundamental rights. My department, the Directorate General for Justice, deals with a wide range of areas such as civil and commercial law, consumer protection legislation, data protection, criminal law, free movement of citizens and equality legislation.
Human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights must be more than concepts. Fundamental rights are the foundation on which the European Union is built: they must be continuously respected and protected. This commitment is laid down in the European Union's Charter of Fundamental Rights – Europe's "Bill of Rights" and the most modern codification of fundamental rights recognised in national constitutions.
Citizens are at the heart of the European project. The EU is not for politicians, it is for people. This principle is what guides our work here in the European Commission. The Lisbon Treaty marks a real watershed in highlighting the importance of citizens: It underscores their vital role in advancing the European project. It has given them new opportunities to address the European institutions. And it challenges the EU institutions to create a real Citizens’ Europe.