U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and European Commission Vice President Viviane Reding met today in Washington, D.C. They had cordial discussions on a wide range of fields of collaboration between the Department of Justice and the European Commission.
Among the topics discussed were victims’ rights, rights of persons with disabilities and the need to protect children against online predators. Attorney General Holder referred to the experience both of the department’s Office for Victims of Crime and the Disability Rights Section of the department’s Civil Rights Division. Attorney General Holder and Vice President Reding welcomed the opportunity for a meeting of experts in this regard. Both Attorney General Holder and Vice President Reding also noted the important role that Eurojust, the European Union’s Judicial Cooperation Unit, has taken in coordinating highly successful multilateral investigations, including investigations of online child predators, and both committed to ensuring the continuation of such collaboration through Eurojust.
The meeting concluded with a discussion of the ongoing negotiations for a data protection agreement covering police and judicial information. They noted the importance attached on both sides of the Atlantic to providing a high level of personal data and privacy protection for all individuals. Attorney General Holder and Vice President Reding expressed appreciation for the ongoing and positive dialogue between U.S. and EU experts on protecting and sharing data on the basis of a commonly agreed framework. Each noted recent progress made, and both sides were optimistic in reiterating their determination to finalize negotiations as rapidly as possible.