Justice affairs in the EU
The Ministry of Justice is responsible for EU projects within its mandate. In Finland, EU legislation in the fields of civil and criminal law, personal data protection, contract law, consumer protection, company law and procedural law, for example, is drafted at the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry of Justice also prepares the national measures required to implement the obligations resulting from EU law in the area of justice in Finland. Similar work aiming to improve the quality of legislation and to develop law drafting is being carried out both in Finland and in the EU.
The responsibility for matters related to EU fundamental rights policy, democracy and openness in the EU activities rests with the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry is also responsible for organising the elections to the European Parliament and for the law drafting relating to this.
According to the Treaty of the European Union, the Union constitutes an area of freedom, security and justice with respect for fundamental rights and the different legal systems and traditions of the Member States. Judicial cooperation in the Union is based on the principle of mutual recognition of judgments given by the courts and decisions issued by the judicial authorities. This principle means that decisions issued by the authorities of a Member State must be recognised and may be enforced in all other Member States.
EU legislation may also be adopted for the approximation of the national laws of the Member States, if necessary. EU activities in the area of justice focus especially on cross-border issues that relate, for example, to the fight against serious crime, cross-border disputes or international family law matters. The EU may act only in areas where the Member States have conferred powers upon it.
Eurojust is the European Union’s Judicial Cooperation Unit which stimulates and improves the coordination of investigations and prosecutions in order to combat and detect serious cross-border crime. Eurojust is based in The Hague.
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) provides expert advice to the EU and its Member States on a range of issues related to the fundamental rights.