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EU Justice Ministers advocate removal of illegal content from the internet

12 Mar · 15h00

© Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2021 / Pedro Sá da Bandeira

The European Union Justice Ministers want illegal content to be removed from the internet in order to combat online child sexual abuse, hate speech and other crimes “with the cooperation of the service providers under the scope of the draft Digital Services Act”. Attention was called to this need at the informal video conference of Justice Ministers yesterday, which was chaired by Portuguese Minister Francisca Van Dunem.


Moving forward with the digitalisation of justice in the European Union is also a common priority for the Member States. The Minister of Justice noted the possibility of using funding from the Recovery and Resilience Facility for this. According to the European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, each Member State is expected to earmark 20% of the funds they receive for the digital transition.

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Justice Minister Francisca Van Dunem at the press conference © Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2021 / António Pedro Santos/LUSA

Francisca Van Dunem also announced that, taking the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union into account, the Ministers from the 27 Member States believe a solution needs to be found to the issue of retention of electronic communications data as a tool for fighting organised crime and terrorism.

“ The retention [of electronic communications data] is vital in the fight against crime and terrorism and in judicial cooperation ”

Francisca Van Dunem, Portuguese Minister of Justice

Conference on professional training in the justice field

Improving the digitalisation of justice systems is an item on the EU agenda for the next three years. To this end, the Portuguese Presidency and the European Commission will be organising a conference on professional training in the justice field, to be held next May.


On another issue, the Justice Ministers warmly welcomed the presentation of an EU-North Africa initiative aimed at “promoting more intensive dialogue in the areas of justice and home affairs”.


Human rights were also on the table at this meeting, with an appeal to legislators and human rights organisations to intensify their efforts in order to implement respect for and the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.


On the date marking European Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Terrorism, there was a minute’s silence for all the people and families who have directly or indirectly been victims of terrorist acts.