Minister of State with responsibility for Law Reform James Browne TD has welcomed Europe Day 2021 and noted the work undertaken by the Department of Justice in strengthening Ireland’s position in the European Union.
Europe Day is marked by the European Union on 9 May every year and celebrates peace and unity in Europe.
Ireland’s membership of the EU is critically important for the country as a whole and Europe Day helps highlight the importance of the many areas where EU membership is of benefit to the citizens of Ireland.
EU legislation plays a significant role in informing the Department’s legislative agenda with approximately 40% of legislation enacted originating in the EU. In the past 12 months, the Department has enacted various pieces of legislation to strengthen our fight against cross-border crime. More recent examples of this includes:
- The Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Act 2021 - which strengthens existing anti-money laundering legislation and will give effect to provisions of the Fifth EU Money Laundering Directive
- The Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) (Amendment) Act 2021, which gives effect to EU Directive 2017/1371 on the fight against fraud to the European Union’s financial interests by means of criminal law
Speaking on the legislative progress made, the Minister said:
“There has been substantive work undertaken to transpose important EU legislation through the Houses of the Oireachtas which has been made all the more challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This legislation is key to ensuring that Ireland’s laws are up to date and that our law enforcement officials are legally equipped to deal with the constantly shifting landscape of cross border crime.”
In addition to the legislative achievements made in recent times, on 10 December 2020, it was announced that the EU Council had approved Ireland’s connection to Schengen Information System (SIS II) and this became fully operational in Ireland on 15 March 2021.
The Schengen Information System is the largest and most widely used IT system for public security in Europe, with 30 countries participating. The system enables law enforcement agencies to share and check data on wanted persons, missing persons, persons who may not have the right to enter or stay in the EU, and objects/vehicles that may have been stolen, misappropriated, or lost.
Speaking about Ireland’s connection to SIS II, the Minister said:
“Ireland’s connection to the Schengen Information System (SIS II) was a landmark achievement in strengthening law enforcement cooperation and enhancing security within the EU.
There has been very significant and successful cooperation between my officials and An Garda Síochána for a number of years in order to get to this point and I expect that it will be an extremely important law enforcement tool for Gardaí.”
Note to editors:
This year, Europe Day falls on Sunday 9 May and a range of online events including concerts, short films and other activities, are taking place across the entire European Union over this coming weekend. Search #EuropeDay for more information.
Launch of the Conference on the Future of Europe
Europe Day marks the official launch of the Conference on the Future of Europe (#cofeu). The Conference on the Future of Europe is intended to be a citizen-led series of debates and discussions that will enable people from across the European Union to share their ideas and help shape our common future. The Department of Foreign Affairs will be coordinating a range of consultation events in Ireland to feed into the Conference.
Government’s New EU Jobs Strategy to Increase the Presence of Irish Officials in the EU Institutions
The Programme for Government committed to the development of a new Strategy to increase the number of Irish people successfully applying for positions in the EU institutions. A new EU Jobs Strategy – Jobs for EU - has been prepared by the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. The new Strategy includes a series of actions intended to significantly increase the numbers of Irish officials in both temporary and permanent jobs positions within the EU institutions. The new Strategy is being launched by the Minister of State for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne T.D.
Further information of the various events taking place on EuropeDay 2021 can be found on the Official EU site: https://europeday.europa.eu/index_en.