North South and EU cooperation

Intergovernmental cooperation on criminal justice matters including the role of Strategy & Secretariat Branch. 

European matters

The Department closely follows developments in European justice and home affairs matters and seeks to represent the interests of Northern Ireland where appropriate.

The Justice and Home Affairs Council configuration brings together Justice Ministers and Interior Ministers of each Member State. Meetings cover areas of mutual interest and are chaired by the relevant Minister whose country holds the Presidency tenure for the Council of the European Union.

The Department contributed to the Northern Ireland Executive’s European Priorities for 2015-16, which detailed the Executive’s vision of participating in Europe in a positive and forward looking manner.

European funding

The European Commission’s new funding period (2014-2020) provides opportunities to explore innovative solutions and drive economic growth. The Department is committed to promoting and encouraging participation in European funding projects in support of the Programme for Government target of increasing drawdown from competitive European funding streams. This is conducted through the work of the Department’s European Unit, which provides advice on appropriate funding streams and ensures timely dissemination of funding information to justice related organisation. 

The Northern Ireland Contact Point for the Secure Societies strand of the Horizon 2020 programme sits within the European Unit. Horizon 2020 is Europe’s largest research and innovation programme with nearly €80 million of funding available over the lifetime of the programme (2014-2020). The Northern Ireland Contact Point Network provides support to those interested in engaging with Horizon 2020, covering a number of themes along with secure societies, such as energy, health, ICT, engineering, arts, agri-food and environment.

Further information and support on European funding is available from

If you are interested in receiving information relating to European funding, please contact the Department’s European Unit at the following address:


Role of Strategy & Secretariat Branch

To provide support and advice under the auspices of the North/South Intergovernmental Agreement on Cooperation on Criminal Justice Matters. This entails, inter alia, providing the necessary secretariat function to the Justice Minister, Claire Sugden and senior DOJ officials on the Northern Ireland side, whilst liaising in conjunction with Irish officials in DJE (RoI) secretariat who provide a similar function in Ireland’s jurisdiction.  

It also entails liaising with and supporting as appropriate the NI co-Chairs of the six Project Advisory Groups (PAGs) covering Public Protection, Registered Offenders, Support for Victims, Forensic Science, Youth Justice and Criminal Justice & Social Diversity.

Each year the respective Justice Ministers agree a joint work programme to be undertaken by the six PAGs which runs from summer to summer, and is published on both the DOJ and DJE websites.

Related to North South and EU cooperation

Access to information

How to request information from the Department of Justice including Freedom of Information (FOI) and the use of our Publication Scheme.

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