On January 15th, 2021, Sam Tanson hosted a videoconference with her counterparts of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain to discuss access to cross-border e-evidence in criminal matters and electronic data retention.
The Vendôme Group* had an informal exchange on a faster and more efficient access to electronic evidence in order to combat all forms of crime, such as foreseen in the proposal which is currently discussed at European level.
The second topic was the recent jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on data retention and its impact on national legislation.
The ministers had a constructive informal exchange on these sensitive topics.
The ministers called for a constructive dialogue to allow a rapid finalisation of the negotiations on access to electronic evidence, maintaining a high level of ambition to ensure that this instrument will bring real added value while upholding fundamental rights.
The ministers also shared their concern about the consequences of the CJEU rulings on data retention, and recalled that data retention is essential to preserve national security and to fight serious criminal offences, particularly terrorism. They called for a common European approach to preserve the investigative capacities of law enforcement and judicial authorities, in strict compliance with the rule of law and citizen's fundamental rights, particularly with regard to the protection of their personal data.
*The Vendôme Group brings together the ministers of Justice from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Spain. It is an informal discussion forum at ministerial level.
On November 7th 2018, France hosted the first meeting in Paris, Place Vendôme, which gave its name to the group. Subsequent meetings took place in Brussels, March 25th 2019, in Madrid June 3rd 2019, The Hague on September 30th 2019, Berlin on February 12th 2020 and via videoconference, hosted by Italy on September 14th and by France, on October 30th 2020.
Press release by the Ministry of Justice