CESI Trade Councils ‘Justice’ & ‘Security’ discuss priorities in the EU’s Area of Freedom, Security & Justice

On March 22, precisely two years after the Brussels terror attacks, CESI’s Trade Councils ‘Justice’ & ‘Security’ met in Brussels to discuss a number of key sector-specific issues: privatisation and digitisation in the prison and justice systems, the fight against radicalisation, police cooperation and fight against organised crime, the Schengen Borders Code and its revision in light of the 2015-2016 terrorist attacks, smart borders, and violence at work.

The meeting provided an opportunity for practitioners in the field of justice and security to discuss with invited external experts their major concerns related to the EU’s Area of Freedom, Security and Justice. The Trade Councils enjoyed top-level contributions from key practitioners such as former Deputy General Secretary of the UK Professional Trades Union for Prison (POA) Mark Freeman, the head of strategy of the Council of Europe’s European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) Georg Stawa, and the Assistant General Secretary of the Irish Prison Officers’ Association Gabriel Keaveny.

The meeting was further enriched by contributions from representatives from the European Commission’s Directorate for Migration and Home Affairs, the European Parliamentary Research Service and the European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (eu-LISA Agency).

Alain Laratta and Maxime Rigal, members of CESI’s French affiliate Avenir Secours, gave a presentation about the judgment of the Brussels Higher Labour Court in the case of Ville de Nivelles v Rudy Matzak, a ruling which classified stand-by services as working time and is therefore of high importance for various professions practicing on-call duty (video with further information here).

The presentations and discussions around the topic of violence and mental health at work showed the scale of the concern of this topic for CESI’s members.

John Clinton and Gerrit van de Kamp, Presidents of the Trade Councils ‘Justice’ and ‘Security’ respectively, acknowledged that the contributions made throughout the meeting could lead to even more operational-level cooperation among trade unionists from the justice and security sectors, while information-sharing is already an existing practice between law enforcement officers and representatives of the justice system. The presidents of the Trade Councils also expressed their concerns about the way law enforcement officers and justice officials are being portrayed following the death of the two recent investigative journalists in Malta and Slovakia Daphne Caruana and Ján Kuciak – For this reason, the Trade Councils adopted a joint resolution on restoring trust in law enforcement and justice bodies.

For further information about the meeting please contact the CESI General Secretariat.

Picture: CESI Trade Councils ‘Security’ and ‘Justice’ © CESI 2018