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Minister Stelian Ion attended the informal meeting of EU justice ministers on Friday, which focused on protecting vulnerable adults, protecting intellectual property rights through criminal law, the link between counterfeiting and organized crime, and digitisation.

According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Justice on Sunday, the participants agreed that the phenomenon of counterfeiting "endangers public health and consumer safety," especially in the current pandemic context, and "affects all sectors of economic activity, as counterfeit products make unfair competition" for legitimate products and reduce incentives for innovation.

"There are strong links between counterfeiting and organized crime, which require substantial efforts on the part of the authorities to combat these phenomena. An important step in this regard can be the ratification by the EU member states of the Convention on Counterfeiting of Medical Products and Similar Crimes involving Threats to Public Health (the MEDICRIME Convention), adopted by the Council of Europe on 28 October 2011, which can prove to be a very useful tool in judicial cooperation in criminal matters. The discussions will continue also on possible legislation harmonisation in the EU on criminalising intellectual property right breeches," the release reads.

According to Minister Stelian Ion, the Hague Convention contains adequate provisions to facilitate the mutual recognition and enforcement of measures for the protection of vulnerable adults.

"I believe that ratification by as many member states as possible will provide the necessary regulatory framework for the protection of the rights of vulnerable adults in cross-border situations. We can support the analysis of the issue at EU level, to identify concrete elements that would require immediate action," he said.

The participants in the meeting also expressed support for the digital transformation of the judiciary and the promotion of the necessary tools at EU level to maintain access to justice for all citizens.

Friday's meeting was the first organized by the Portuguese Presidency of the EU Council. Traditionally, during the first semester of 2021, two more ministerial meetings will be held in March and June. AGERPRES (RO - author: Irinela Visan, editor: Claudia Stanescu; EN - editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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