Work and Remit of the Department
The Department of Justice and Equality has an important and demanding role to play in the EU and other international bodies such as the Council of Europe and the United Nations. The Department’s strategies in the area of crime, police co-operation, law reform in both civil and criminal matters, asylum and immigration as well as in regards to equality and anti-discrimination are influenced by initiatives and programmes arising at EU and international level. Practically every division of the Department has some involvement in EU and other international matters that fall within the Department’s broad policy area.
Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union
Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2013 is a welcome opportunity to advance Ireland’s objectives and interests in regard to EU policy and legislation.
The Presidency will represent the Council at meetings with other EU bodies, in particular with the European Parliament and the European Commission. A key aspect of that work is coordinating the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council which brings together Justice Ministers and Interior Ministers of the Member States, and will be chaired by the Minister for Justice and Equality.
In addition to the two formal and one informal JHA Councils, the Justice Department’s main responsibility includes the organisation and agenda-setting of working groups, Council preparatory committees and the Committee of Permanent Representatives in the European Union (COREPER).