New EU directive will facilitate more effective implementation of sanctions and increase pressure on Russia - Libina-Egnere

  • 2023-06-09
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The European Union (EU) Council of Justice Ministers adopted the directive on harmonized criminal liability for violations of the EU sanctions, which will ensure that the EU will take equally strict action against violations of the sanctions imposed on Russia, as well as promote more effective implementation of sanctions and increase pressure on Russia, the EU Council of Justice Ministers emphasized Minister of Justice Inese Libina-Egnere (New Unity).

The Ministry of Justice informed LETA that Libina-Egnere participated in the EU Council of Justice Ministers during a working visit to Luxembourg on June 9.

The minister also emphasized that in the future, the EU should agree on the use of frozen Russian financial assets for the reconstruction of Ukraine.

The meeting held a discussion related to Russia's aggression against Ukraine, namely, how member states ensure the investigation and punishment of violations of EU sanctions. The discussion was about the possible expansion of the competence of the European Prosecutor's Office, providing for the right to investigate violations of EU sanctions, as well as about examples of good practice in EU member states in the investigation of violations of sanctions. The minister invited the ministers of justice of EU member states to a conference in Riga, which will be dedicated to the support of Ukraine.

During the Council, the general agreement on the directive was adopted, which aims to fight human trafficking in the EU and ensure the protection of victims, especially protecting women and children in EU territory and fighting organized crime that carries out this exploitation.

A general agreement was reached on the directive, which aims to combat violence against women and domestic violence by harmonizing relevant criminal offenses across the EU, including cyber-violence and cyber-sexual harassment, the amount of punishment, as well as strengthening the protection of victims and access to justice, as well as providing support to victims, implementing prevention, coordination and cooperation.

The meeting also reached general agreement on a directive aimed at combating patently unjustified or malicious legal proceedings, usually initiated by powerful individuals, lobby groups, corporations and public authorities, against individuals who criticize or publish messages that are inconvenient to them in a public context. Thus, journalists and human rights defenders will be protected against unjustified civil cases by introducing special civil procedural guarantees for evidence, legal costs, the plaintiff to provide security, to filter obviously unjustified, malicious claims and to provide sanctions for the plaintiff.