Cooperation in the field of justice plays a central role in the EU's relations with partner countries. The EU builds and maintains long-term relationships with key partners around the world – such as the USA and China – using different tools such as
- policy dialogues
- international agreements
- expert meetings and summits
Partnerships are established not only with individual countries, but also with groups of countries or regions. The strategic partnerships with the Western Balkans and the Eastern Neighbourhood countries are examples for this type of relationship.
Partnership and cooperation agreements can focus on strengthening the rule of law and the judiciary as well as the protection of fundamental rights and cooperation to prevent organised crime. Cooperation also extends to other policies managed by Directorate-General for justice and consumers including consumer issues.