Transcript of European Union/United States Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Press Availability

WASHINGTON , Dec. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following transcript of the European Union/ United States Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Press Availability was released today by the U.S. Department of Justice: 1:40 P.M...

We have also worked on the level of controlling explosives by identifying components that can be used to manufacture explosives, as well as the ways of trafficking in these explosives and other elements used to manufacture them.

We have discussed the establishment of a PNR, a Passenger Name Record, in Europe . This would allow us to be more aware of flights coming into our countries while also remaining alert to protecting individual liberties.

We are also working to try to anticipate threats as much as possible. The best way we can protect our own citizens is to avoid attacks being conceived. Society evolves, technology evolves, and crime also evolves while using our technology.

From this point of view, this morning, as the Attorney General said, we have worked a great deal on protecting children. We have talked about Internet child pornography. During the presidency of the European Union, we agreed on creating a European platform to unify analysis and surveillance of child pornography Web sites.

I thank the Attorney General and the European community for assisting in financing and supporting this effort. Because this involves not only our own borders but Europe's borders, I suggest that the European and American forums be allowed to continue to work together on this subject.

We have also worked on managing borders. I welcome six new European states in the American Visa Waiver Program. There are still some countries that do not have access, but I hope that they will soon be able to.

Also this morning, we dealt with the problem of our experience exchange in the area of terrorist threats, which I referred to earlier, as well as the area of transnational organized crime, such as drug trafficking. We are working to adjust our resources to deal with these threats as well, because protecting ourselves against terrorism, organized crime and drug trafficking is not the only goal, this helps us protect ourselves as well.

So that is what I wanted to bring up for you with regard to the working meeting this morning as well as our lunch. All of this took place in a very positive atmosphere, and this indicates the level of trust between our organizations and governments concerning a subject which is at the heart of our responsibilities to our countries. Our responsibility is to protect our citizens.

ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: Now, Jacques Barrot , European Union Commissioner for Justice. Thank you.

MR. BARROT: (Through translator.) Thank you very much, Mr. Attorney General, Mr. Baker, and thank you for the kind welcome from the United States of America .

I should say that the Commission has worked under the leadership of Michelle Alliot-Marie in excellent cooperation with the French Presidency. I am happy to say that we look forward to continuing to work in such a positive spirit.

We are continuing to develop our cooperation in the law enforcement area across the Atlantic in a manner that reflects increased confidence and cooperation. We brought up the subject of the ratification of the mutual legal assistance treaty and extradition treaty. We are encouraging the final ratification by the few member states who have not done so yet, so that it will become operational.

We support the exchange of information while at the same time being concerned about protecting the security of personal data. We would like to reach an international agreement about this problem concerning information exchange and protection of personal privacy. As Minister Alliot-Marie said, "We evaluated terrorism. We have discussed radicalization. And with regard to radicalization we have accomplished a great deal with Mr. Kirkov, responsible for counter-terrorism."

In February 2009 we will host a seminar and we invite American participation. And, as I understand, Mr. Baker said he would participate. We also dealt with the topic of explosives with a seminar which took place last week in Brussels , which also allowed for very fruitful discussions. We have a European action plan dealing with explosives, and we have established a European network to eliminate explosive devices.