Minister Damir Habijan at Justice and Home Affairs Council

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This year's second meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council took place in Luxembourg on 13 and 14 June 2024. Minister of Justice, Public Administration and Digital Transformation Damir Habijan participated in the meeting of EU justice ministers.

A revision of the 2011 Directive on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography was discussed. 

The fight against sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and child sexual abuse material is an area that includes the criminalisation of new technological developments, such as AI-generated images and videos of child sexual abuse.

These new developments pose different threats and raise a number of legal issues, including from the perspective of the legal bases of EU criminal law.

The aim is to broaden the definitions of these offences and introduce more penalties and more specific requirements for prevention and assistance to victims.

"It is important that we try to take a unified approach to this global and, unfortunately, growing problem. With regard to AI-generated images and videos, I must point out that Croatia’s criminal legislation already recognises such terms within the meaning of the term “child pornography”. Given the dangers of such images and videos, as well as the development of technology that allows for an accelerated increase in the amount of such materials, I believe that today's discussion has contributed to making progress at national level in combating this problem", said the Minister.

Minister Habijan highlighted that the Ministry had established a working group to draft a single law on the protection of children against all types of abuse, especially against sexual abuse.

The fight against corruption remains a topical issue. The Proposal for a Directive on Combating Corruption amends and updates the current EU rules on the matter, with prevention, detection and sanctions as its three main pillars. The most important novelty is that the rules on corruption in the public and private sectors are brought together in a single legal act for the first time at EU level.

“For us, preventive action, education and awareness-raising on corruption risks are key to fighting corruption. This Directive is fully complementary to the national objectives of the Republic of Croatia that we have set out in the ten-year Anti-Corruption Strategy", said the Minister.

At a working lunch, ministers discussed the fight against impunity in the context of the war in Ukraine.

PHOTO/SOURCE: Council of the European Union