Wednesday, 17 November 2010
Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform
Question 193: To ask the Minister for Justice and Law Reform the discussions he has had with his EU colleagues with a view to greater co-operation and co-ordination in the fight against organised crime, including drug trafficking; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43369/10]
The European Union has made great strides in the field of Freedom, Security and Justice over the past number of years. Justice and Home Affairs Work Programmes and their accompanying Action Plans have played a central role in fostering a more structured and cohesive approach to cooperative and legislative initiatives. The Union has advanced its work, inter alia, in the fight against organised crime including the fight against drug trafficking.
Ireland welcomed the Stockholm Programme, which was endorsed by the European Council in December last, as the new five-year work programme for the JHA area. This followed a series of discussions between Ministers for Justice and Ministers for the Interior of the Member States over the preceding months.
The Stockholm Programme set out the need for a strong, coordinated response to organised crime due to its cross border nature. The very serious issues of trafficking in human beings, child pornography, cybercrime, financial crime, counterfeiting of means of payment and drugs trafficking have all been identified as priorities for action. The all-pervasive nature of organised crime means that actions in these areas need to be tackled in a comprehensive and coordinated manner as the influence of organised crime remains a common factor across the individual areas of concern.
Recent Justice and Home Affairs Councils have discussed the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction annual report, the Commission Communication on the mid-term review of the Drugs Action Plan (2009-2012) and the Pact against International Drug Trafficking. I will continue to work with my EU colleagues in the Justice and Home Affairs Council to ensure that every possible measure, legislative or otherwise, is put in place to enhance EU strategies for combating transnational organised crime.