Meeting on the development of a Best Practice Guide for judicial cooperation in relation to major sports events, The Hague, 17 and 18 June 2015.
On 17 and 18 June 2015, Eurojust hosted a meeting on the development of a Best Practice Guide for judicial cooperation in relation to major sports events. A total of 20 participants attended the meeting, including external experts from Austria, Belgium, Portugal, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, as well as representatives of the EJN Secretariat and the European Commission (DG Justice).
The meeting provided a platform for discussing how practitioners dealing with judicial cooperation in criminal matters in relation to major sports events could be better assisted. The sharing and exchanging of experience in preventing, investigating and prosecuting crimes committed during such events was also discussed.
Discussions have led to the identification of best practice and the development of recommendations for Member States’ judicial authorities at European level for future events, particularly the UEFA European Championships in 2016 and 2020. These recommendations include i) how to exchange general information prior to and case-related information and evidence during major sports events; ii) choice of forum for the prosecution, trial and execution of sentences regarding event-related crimes; and iii) application of fast-track procedures if possible under the host State’s laws.
Recommendations on judicial cooperation in criminal matters in relation to major sports events are available here.
Eurojust strategic seminar Conflicts of jurisdiction, transfer of proceedings and ne bis in idem: successes, shortcomings and solutions, The Hague, 4 June 2015.
Eurojust Report / Council Document 14172/15
The strategic seminar Conflicts of Jurisdiction, Transfer of Proceedings and Ne Bis in Idem: Successes, Shortcomings and Solutions, jointly organised by Eurojust and the Latvian Presidency of the EU, took place on 4 June 2015. The seminar was organised in combination with the 9th Meeting of the Consultative Forum of Prosecutors General and Directors of Public Prosecutions of the Member States of the European Union (Consultative Forum) that was convened on 5 June 2015 by the Prosecutor General of Latvia with the support of Eurojust.
National practitioners exchanged views on problems and best practice experienced in parallel proceedings and the subjects of the title of the meeting, and reflected on possible solutions and Eurojust’s present and future role.
The following topics were discussed: i) identification and coordination of parallel proceedings in the EU; ii) criteria to decide which jurisdiction should prosecute; iii) transfer of proceedings in the EU criminal justice area; and iv) the principle of ne bis in idem in the EU criminal justice area.
Practitioners’ views and proposals from the first day were presented to the Consultative Forum during its meeting on the second day. The conclusions of the Consultative Forum are available here.
Eurojust strategic seminar Towards greater cooperation in Freezing and Confiscation of the proceeds of crime: a practitioner's approach, The Hague, 11-12 December 2014.
Eurojust Report / Council Document 8570/15
On 11 and 12 December 2014, Eurojust, in cooperation with the Italian Presidency and the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Italian Supreme Court, hosted the strategic seminar Towards greater cooperation in freezing and confiscation of the proceeds of crime: A practitioners’ approach and the 8th meeting of the Consultative Forum of Prosecutors General and Directors of Public Prosecutions of the Member States of the European Union (Consultative Forum).
The goal of the seminar was to bring practitioners together in order to identify difficulties in mutual recognition associated with the current legal framework in the area of asset recovery. Three workshops were organised and the following topics were discussed: i) asset tracing, freezing and confiscation: challenges in mutual recognition and execution; ii) alternatives to conviction-based confiscation: ensuring that crime does not pay; and iii) legal and judicial challenges in asset management and disposal, sharing and repatriation of confiscated assets from a practitioner’s point of view. It was highlighted that Eurojust can play a pivotal role in this area, and that practitioners should make further use of Eurojust’s expertise to strengthen judicial cooperation between national authorities.
The conclusions reached by practitioners during the strategic seminar were presented at the Consultative Forum meeting and served as the basis for further discussion by Consultative Forum members. The conclusions of the Consultative Forum, published as a Council document, are available here.
Meeting with Eurojust Contact Points and Liaison Magistrates appointed by Member States, The Hague, 16-17 October 2014
The meeting with Eurojust Contact Points and Liaison Magistrates appointed by Member States, organised by and hosted at Eurojust, was held on 16 and 17 October 2014. The meeting focused on cooperation between Eurojust and Eurojust Contact Points and cooperation between Eurojust and Liaison Magistrates appointed by Member States. The objectives of the meeting were to discuss complementarity, synergies and cooperation by exchanging views on case examples, raising awareness of the role of Eurojust in cases related to third States - including the exchange of information with third States, identifying possible methods of improving working methodologies, and following up on the previous meeting. A total of 79 participants attended the meeting, 17 of whom were Eurojust Contact Points, and 20 Liaison Magistrates appointed by Member States. A total of 18 third States were represented. Representatives of the Ibero-American Network of International Legal Cooperation (IberRed), the European Commission and the Secretariat of the European Judicial Network (EJN) also participated. One of the main outcomes of the Meeting was the Guide for Cooperation between Eurojust and Eurojust Contact Points. The outcome report of the Meeting covers the main points made by the speakers and of the discussions, notably the identification of difficulties, best practice and further steps towards effective cooperation. The meeting agenda and the Guide for Cooperation between Eurojust and Eurojust Contact Points are annexed to the outcome report.
The outcome report of the Meeting with Eurojust Contact Points and Liaison Magistrates appointed by Member States, published as a Council document, is available here.
Eurojust strategic seminar on drug trafficking, The Hague, 29-30 September 2014
Prosecutors, law enforcement authorities and experts in the drug trafficking field from across the Member States of the European Union met at Eurojust’s premises in The Hague in September 2014 for two days of intensive workshops and discussions. Contributions were also received from representatives of Brazil, United States, Norway, as well as EU bodies and international organisations, including Europol, the EMCDDA, the Council of Europe (Pompidou Group) and UNODC. With a focus on increasing the effectiveness of international judicial cooperation in drug trafficking cases, the strategic meeting followed up Eurojust’s strategic seminar on drug trafficking that was held in Krakow in October 2011 together with the Polish Presidency of the EU. Two of the EU’s priorities in the fight against organised crime between 2014 and 2017 were directly addressed, namely the production and trafficking of synthetic drugs and the trafficking and distribution into the EU of cocaine and heroin. Drug trafficking remains one of the crime priorities in Eurojust’s casework, as demonstrated by the number of cases and coordination meetings organised to address judicial cooperation and coordination issues in drug trafficking cases. In 2013 alone, in the area of drug trafficking 239 cases were opened, 56 coordination meetings organised and 26 joint investigation teams formed with the assistance of Eurojust.
The Implementation report of the action plan on drug trafficking and its addenda, and Outcome report of the strategic meeting of 29-30 September are available here.
Eurojust strategic seminar - The European Arrest Warrant: Which way forward?, The Hague,
10-11 June 2014
The strategic seminar, The European Arrest Warrant: Which way forward?, organised by Eurojust in cooperation with the Hellenic EU Presidency, took place on 10 June 2014 in combination with the 7th meeting of the Consultative Forum of Prosecutors General and Directors of Public Prosecutions of the Member States of the European Union that was convened on 11 June 2014 by the Prosecutor General of Greece with the support of Eurojust. Participants from all Member States, EU institutions and Eurojust attended the combined event. Leading figures in Europe’s legislative sphere gave presentations that provided valuable discussion points and background, and held workshops on a range of highly relevant topics.
Strategic Meeting: "Towards an enhanced coordination of environmental crime prosecutions across the EU: The role of Eurojust", The Hague, 27-28 November 2013
Eurojust organised jointly with the European Network of Prosecutors for the Environment the Strategic Meeting “Towards an enhanced coordination of environmental crime prosecutions across the EU: The role of Eurojust” on 27 and 28 November 2013. Around 100 participants from the national prosecution services as well as from European Union and international institutions came together to consider challenges in the successful prosecution of environmental crimes as well as possible solutions and best practices. The goal of the meeting was to present a general introduction of the state of play of environmental crime and its prosecution in the EU from different perspectives as well as to provide a platform for in-depth discussion among participants to look into three different aspects of environmental crimes: illegal trafficking of waste, trafficking of endangered species and surface water pollution.
Eurojust Strategic Seminar on Cross-border excise fraud: "Emerging threats in the European Union", The Hague, 14-15 November 2013
On 14 and 15 November, Eurojust and the Lithuanian EU Presidency co-hosted a strategic seminar entitled Cross-border excise fraud: Emerging threats in the European Union. Officials from Member States’ tax and customs policy and operations departments joined prosecutors, judges and representatives of EU institutions and agencies to exchange views on the scale of the problem as well as potential solutions and best practice. The seminar participants discussed complex cases involving cigarettes, alcohol and fuel-related excise fraud and demonstrated that this type of criminality creates tax revenue losses of millions of euros for each Member State on tobacco, alcohol and energy products. Participants discussed the complex and continually evolving nature of excise fraud schemes, through which Organised Criminal Groups exploit differences and weaknesses in EU and national tax, customs and asset recovery legislation.
The seminar concluded that, in the absence of further legislative harmonisation, there were a number of best practices that could facilitate cooperation between authorities in the Member States, including the use of dedicated Focal Points at Europol to collate and analyse intelligence, the assistance of OLAF in setting up joint customs operations and the exchange of information through coordination meetings and JITs established with support from Eurojust. This highlights that a multi-disciplinary approach, involving reinforced cooperation among EU institutions and agencies as well as among tax, customs, police and judicial authorities on the ground in the Member States, is needed to tackle cross-border excise fraud effectively. As excise fraud has been identified as one of the EU’s priorities for the fight against serious and organised crime in the EU Policy Cycle 2014-2017, this seminar will hopefully serve as the basis for further action in this area.
Eurojust seminar: Confiscation and Organised Crime: procedures and perspectives in international judicial cooperation, Palermo, 21-22 May 2012
The Eurojust seminar, Confiscation and Organised Crime: procedures and perspectives in international judicial cooperation, organised with the support of the Giovanni and Francesca Falcone Foundation, marked the 20th anniversary of the assassination. Judge Falcone’s crucial new approach to fighting organised crime was highlighted: depriving criminals of their profits, stopping the financing of new crimes and protecting the legitimate economy. The President of the Republic of Italy in his speech highlighted the importance of Eurojust in supporting the national authorities in fighting organised crime, including the cross-border execution of freezing and confiscation orders.
Discussions focused on ways to facilitate international tracing, freezing and confiscation of the proceeds of crime. Using case examples, legal and practical solutions were identified concerning obstacles encountered as a result of differences in freezing and confiscation regimes, procedures and languages. Applicable international conventions and EU instruments of mutual recognition were also examined.
Eurojust’s Strategic Meeting on Trafficking in Human Beings, The Hague, 26-27 April 2012
The meeting was organised in the framework of the strategic project entitled “Eurojust’s Action against Trafficking in Human Beings”. The goal of the meeting was to identify possible ways to increase the number of investigations and prosecutions of trafficking in human beings (THB) in the EU, and to enhance the effectiveness of judicial cooperation in the fight against THB, with support from Eurojust. The European Anti-Trafficking Coordinator, the President of the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against THB, national THB experts, as well as representatives from the European Commission, Europol, CEPOL, Frontex and Eurojust attended the meeting and participated in in-depth discussions in five workshops. The goals of the workshops were to (1) discuss difficulties encountered in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers due to dependence on accusation from victims and on testimonies from witnesses; (2) discuss evidentiary difficulties encountered in THB cases, especially where testimony from the victim and witnesses cannot be secured or needs to be supported by other evidence; (3) explore possible solutions to ensure that traffickers are identified and prosecuted effectively and their criminal assets are confiscated; (4) discuss difficulties encountered by national authorities in identifying THB cases and victims with a view to finding possible solutions that would lead to an increase in the number of prosecutions and convictions of traffickers; (5) analyse common problems and identify solutions pertaining to the lack of experience and/or specialised knowledge that might pre-empt successful investigation and prosecution of THB cases; (6) address the main issues encountered by national authorities in the investigation and prosecution of THB cases, with respect to the multilateral dimension of these cases; and (7) discuss the role of Eurojust and Europol in the fight against THB.
A Multidisciplinary Approach to Organised Crime: Administrative Measures, Judicial Follow–up, and the Role of Eurojust, Copenhagen, 11-13 March 2012
The goals of the seminar, co-organised by Eurojust and the Danish Presidency of the EU, were to share experiences on the benefits of a multidisciplinary approach to organised crime, discuss the challenges in relation to the interaction amongst different stakeholders and possible judicial follow-up, and explore the cross-border aspects of this approach and the role of Eurojust, in light of the measures proposed in the Stockholm Programme, the European Commission’s Action Plan on the Stockholm Programme, the EU Internal Security Strategy, and a Handbook prepared under the auspices of the Hungarian Presidency of the EU in 2011.
The seminar focused on specific crime areas in which cooperation could be strengthened between administrative authorities, private entities and NGOs, on the one hand, and judicial and law enforcement authorities, on the other hand. It also addressed horizontal issues, such as asset recovery, including non-conviction-based confiscation, information exchange, the gathering and use of evidence and the protection of procedural rights. The debate benefited from presentations and interventions from practitioners from a number of Member States and representatives of the European Commission, OLAF, and Eurojust, and in-depth workshop discussions on (a) money laundering, asset recovery and cooperation with tax authorities, (b) cooperation with private entities and NGOs, and (c) cooperation with public bodies granting permits and licenses. The important role that Eurojust, as the EU Judicial Cooperation Unit, can play through its coordination meetings and its support to Joint Investigation Teams was highlighted.
Eurojust’s Strategic Seminar on Drug Trafficking, Krakow, 5-6 October 2011
The seminar was organised jointly by Eurojust with the Polish Presidency of the EU in the framework of the strategic project on “Enhancing the work of Eurojust in drug trafficking cases”. The goal of the seminar was to identify possible solutions for increasing the effectiveness of judicial cooperation in the fight against illicit trafficking of drugs with support from Eurojust. The preliminary findings of an analysis of Eurojust’s casework in drug trafficking cases (from 2008-2010) served as a basis for discussions. The seminar critically analysed the role of Eurojust’s co-ordination meetings and their follow-up. It also considered ways to strengthen operational judicial co-operation with third States, especially those that are source or transit countries for illicit drugs entering the EU. Experts on drug trafficking from the national authorities of Member States and third States, as well as representatives from the Council of the EU, the European Commission, Eurojust, Europol and EMCDDA actively participated in the seminar’s presentations and in-depth discussions in five workshops. The goals of the workshops were to (1) examine whether parallel investigations and JITs provide for effective co-operation tools in investigating and prosecuting serious cross-border drug trafficking cases; (2) discuss the co-ordinating role of Eurojust in drug trafficking cases and to identify and address the challenges encountered in co-ordination meetings; (3) identify the main problems (and solutions thereto) in judicial co-operation as a consequence of differences between national legislations in the field of drug trafficking; (4) discuss the obstacles arising from the use of special investigative techniques in drug trafficking cases and to propose solutions that would bring progress in co-operation regarding these techniques; and (5) explore ways to enhance and strengthen judicial co-operation with third States in drug trafficking cases. The importance of increasing the involvement of Eurojust in coordinating drug trafficking cases and of strengthening judicial co-operation with drug producing and transit countries from outside the EU was highlighted.