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Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship

EU Justice policy: Time to look back and time to look forward

Parliament plenary

During a European Parliament plenary session, Vice-President Reding presented the future of EU Justice policy, identifying three priorities for the future: trust, mobility and growth. "Future EU justice policy needs flexibility and strategic priorities to tackle challenges, not a five years straightjacket," she said.

A lot has already been achieved in the justice field, but the work is by no means finished. There are three main priorities :

Trust – Trust is the bedrock upon which EU justice policy is built. Trust is not made by decree. It needs constant efforts.

Mobility – European citizens and businesses are increasingly taking advantage of the rights conferred upon them by the Treaty, but obstacles remain.

Growth – EU justice policy should continue to make a contribution to economic recovery and tackling unemployment.

EU Justice policy should focus on consolidating what has already been achieved, codifying EU law and practice and when necessary and appropriate, complementing the existing framework with new initiatives.

Vice-President Reding said: "Five years ago the focus was on security. Rights of citizens played second fiddle. Laws were based on emotional responses to the latest scare. Today, things have changed. With the help of the European Parliament and the Lisbon treaty we've reoriented EU justice policy: dozens of actions were taken to build a real continent of justice. Seen together these actions constitute a giant leap forward on the road towards a true European area of Justice."

"I see a future Justice Commissioner as a fully-fledged EU Justice Minister. An EU Justice Minister to build bridges and strengthen trust between Europe's different national legal orders in the interest of Europe's citizens and businesses."

"We should be as ambitious when it comes to EU justice policy as we are with resolving the banking crisis. Our citizens deserve nothing less."