Joint efforts in combating organised crime discussed at informal meeting of Justice and Home Affairs CouncilMinister of the Interior Katarina Kresal is attending an informal meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council, which is being held today, 20 January 2011 in Hungary.
EU ministers are discussing joint efforts in combating organised crime; the Slovenian Minister pointed out that the confiscation of proceeds of crime should be subject to more effective and uniform regulation and that a ban on the disposal of property should be applied to suspects for the most serious crimes. According to Kresal, the system needs to provide for the detection of suspicious transactions between Member States, with an emphasis being placed on criminal intelligence, and law enforcement agencies need mechanisms enabling a prompt freeze on and confiscation of assets in other Member States.
The ministers are also discussing the application of advanced technologies with a view to more effective border management. Slovenia believes that advanced technologies can significantly contribute to the more effective management of the EU's external borders. However, it suggests that solutions should be first put to a test in pilot projects in real situations, since that would be more cost-effective than lengthy development of systems that might not be practically applied or end up as obsolete.
Prior to the Council meeting, there was a meeting of the interior ministers of the Salzburg Forum, which includes Slovenia, Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. They discussed, inter alia, the enlargement of the Schengen Area to include Bulgaria and Romania. Slovenia is in favour of the accession of these two countries to the Schengen Area. Minister Kresal emphasized that the two countries should join the Area under the same conditions as applied to the 2007 enlargement. Therefore Slovenia cannot accept any new conditions required by some countries.