The European Commission and Eurojust cooperate closely in a number of matters:
- Participation in the College of Eurojust. The European Commission participates in the College of Eurojust where this exercises its management functions.
- Participation in the Executive Board of Eurojust. A Commission representative also participates in the Executive Board of Eurojust, which is responsible for taking administrative decisions to ensure the functioning of Eurojust, and overseeing the preparatory work of the Administrative Director on other administrative matters for adoption by the College.
- Advising on programming and financial estimates. Eurojust consults the Commission on its annual and multi-annual programming. Further, Eurojust is required, on an annual basis, to provide the Commission with a draft estimate of its revenue and expenditure for the following financial year.
- Relations with third States and international organisations. Eurojust consults with the Commission to prepare a four-year cooperation strategy specifying the third countries and international organisations with which there is an operational need for cooperation. Thereafter, the Commission should negotiate, on the basis of a mandate from the Council, international agreements with identified third countries and international organisations allowing for the exchange of operational personal data between Eurojust and those third parties.
European Parliament and national parliaments of the Member States
The European Parliament and national parliaments of the Member States play an important role ensuring the transparency and democratic oversight of Eurojust, primarily through the joint evaluation of Eurojust’s activities. The President of Eurojust appears once a year before an inter-parliamentary committee composed of members of the competent committees of the European Parliament and of the national parliaments to discuss Eurojust’s current activities and to present its annual report or other key documents of Eurojust.
In addition, Eurojust transmits to the European Parliament and to national parliaments, in their respective official languages, for their information: the annual report, the results of studies and strategic projects; the annual and multi-annual programming document and working arrangements concluded with third parties.
Further, upon his or her appointment, the newly elected President of Eurojust is required to make a statement before the competent committee or committees of the European Parliament and answer questions put by its members.
Finally, the European Parliament plays a key role in relation to Eurojust’s budget.
Council of the European Union
Eurojust participates in the work of the relevant Council preparatory bodies such as the Working Party on Cooperation in Criminal Matters (COPEN), the Working Party on General Matters and Evaluation (GENVAL), CATS (former Article 36 Committee) and the Standing Committee on Operational Cooperation on Internal Security (COSI), providing its practitioner input during the decision-making process of the European Union.
Since the early 2000s, Eurojust and Europol have worked together closely in the fight against serious cross-border crime, in particular by exchanging information with each other, providing complementary support to national authorities during transnational criminal investigations, and addressing the root causes and challenges of serious cross-border crime. The working relationship is based on reciprocity and complementarity while taking account of the need to avoid duplication of effort.
A cooperation agreement, which entered into force in January 2010, solidified efforts to foster closer cooperation between the agencies, in particular by increasing information exchange and improving their strategic and operational cooperation, as well as Europol’s further participation in Eurojust’s strategic and coordination meetings. The agreement also provided for additional cooperative activities, including the possibility of temporarily posting representatives of one or both agencies in the other’s premises, as well as the obligation to inform each other about participation in joint investigation teams (JITs). Currently, Eurojust and Europol have concluded two agreements for the temporary placement of Eurojust representatives to different Union Centres of Expertise hosted at Europol, namely the EC3 and the CT Centre.
To further strengthen the supportive role played by both Eurojust and Europol in financially supporting JITs, in June 2018 the agencies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the joint establishment of rules and conditions for financial support to JIT activities. Among other points, the MoU underlines the need for the agencies to efficiently exchange information, including on applications for JIT funding, to prevent duplication of efforts, including double funding for JITs. More generally, the MoU emphasised the agencies’ commitment to close cooperation and continued cooperation in matters of joint concern.
Beyond their casework, Eurojust and Europol cooperate closely on raising awareness of and developing judicial responses to new developments in cross-border crime, including in the fields of terrorism and cybercrime. As part of these joint efforts, the agencies regularly co-author and disseminate joint publications, including the ‘First report of the observatory function on encryption’, which was published in January 2019, and the report on ‘Common challenges in combating cybercrime’, three editions of which were published in February 2016, March 2017 and June 2019, respectively.
Eurojust has established and maintains cooperative relations with the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), with a view to enhancing the fight against crimes affecting the financial interests of the EU. The tasks of OLAF and Eurojust are different in nature, but close cooperation between the two is essential because they are complementary bodies that share the aim to protect the financial interests of the European Union by tackling fraud, corruption or any other relevant offence or illegal activity.
To this end, Eurojust and OLAF signed a practical agreement in 2008. The Agreement regulates cooperation between the parties, including operational and strategic cooperation, collaboration in Joint Investigations Teams and involvement in relevant professional training, seminars and workshops.
Based on the provisions of this Agreement, quarterly meetings are organised between dedicated teams of Eurojust and OLAF, and a regular exchange of case referrals, case summaries and case-related information, as well as a follow up on the progress made and the activities performed in the exchanged cases takes place. At the same time, the President of Eurojust meets bi-annually with the Director General of OLAF to evaluate and reinforce cooperation.
Specifically, the OLAF-Eurojust cooperation brings added value to Eurojust through:
- specialist knowledge, in cases involving the EU budget or internal/EU staff investigations;
- digital forensics;
- access to databases and information possessed or managed by OLAF;
- knowledge-sharing of practicalities regarding EU law and financial procedures;
- coordination between the national administrative authorities;
- expertise provided by OLAF to judicial authorities;
- evidence from OLAF investigations used within criminal cases; and
- OLAF’s participation in joint investigation teams (JITs).
In return, Eurojust supports the work of OLAF by:
- improving coordination and information flow between national prosecution and judicial authorities;
- enhancing cooperation concerning the execution of international mutual legal assistance instruments;
- establishing contact with national authorities in other Member States or third States involved in a case;
- organising coordination meetings to bring national authorities and OLAF together;
identifying the relevant judicial authority competent to deal with a criminal investigation linked to an OLAF case;
- assisting national authorities in possible judicial follow-up to OLAF recommendations; and
- supporting the setting up and financing of JITs.
European Public Prosecutor’s Office
The Regulation establishing the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) was adopted in the context of enhanced cooperation between 20 Member States and was published on 12 October 2017. The EPPO is expected to become operational at the end of 2020. The EPPO will be a privileged partner to Eurojust, with which a close relationship based on mutual cooperation will be established.
The EPPO and Eurojust, acting as two strong, equal and independent institutions, will be privileged partners with a shared responsibility to protect the financial interests of the European Union.
Eurojust will support and cooperate closely with the EPPO, based on trust and respect for each other’s mandates and competences and on the development of operational, administrative and management links. The specific framework of Eurojust’s future relationship with the EPPO is outlined in article 50 of the Eurojust Regulation:
- the President of Eurojust and the European Chief Prosecutor will meet regularly at each other’s request to discuss issues of common interest;
- Eurojust will respond to requests for support from the EPPO without undue delay;
- to support its cooperation with the EPPO, Eurojust will whenever necessary make use of the Eurojust national coordination system, as well as its relations with third countries, including Eurojust’s Liaison Magistrates;
- Eurojust will inform the EPPO of relevant cross-border cases and associate it with its activities in operational matters relevant to the EPPO’s competences;
- Eurojust and the EPPO will have indirect access to information in each other’s case management systems on the basis of a ‘hit/no-hit’ system; and
- the EPPO may rely on the support and resources of the administration of Eurojust. To this end, Eurojust may provide services of common interest to the EPPO.
Eurojust and the EPPO will conclude a working arrangement covering operational cooperation (in particular outlining the practical details on the competence of each body), institutional relations and administrative matters.
Established in 2000, the European Judicial Training Network (EJTN) is an EU-wide platform to promote training and knowledge-sharing among judicial professionals of the Member States. Among its core tasks, the Network develops and promotes training programmes for judicial professionals on a wide range of relevant EU, civil, criminal and commercial law and linguistics and societal issues, and promotes cooperation between EU judicial training institutions.
The basis for cooperation between Eurojust and the EJTN in the field of judicial training is set out in the Memorandum of Understanding of February 2008. A key focus of the MoU is an exchange programme through which practising judges and prosecutors from Member States are seconded to Eurojust to better understand its tasks, functioning and activities. Eurojust secondments are also open to trainee judges and prosecutors during their initial professional training.
Seconded judges and prosecutors are assigned to the National Desk of their Member State of origin and are actively involved in the daily work of their Desk, and are also involved in other Eurojust activities, including College plenary meetings, strategic meetings, coordination meetings and team meetings. Further, Eurojust and EJTN can engage in other forms of cooperation activities in the field of judicial training, including participation in meetings, conferences, seminars and other training activities organised either by Eurojust or by EJTN.
CEPOL is an important cooperating partner in the JHA area. On 1 January 2010, the Memorandum of Understanding between Eurojust and CEPOL entered into force with the aim of defining, encouraging and improving training for police and prosecutors in the fight against serious crime, particularly when it is organised crime.
Within the limits of its legal framework, Eurojust informs CEPOL about its priorities and activities to enable CEPOL to plan its training activities accordingly. Eurojust and CEPOL support each other in the development of course material and of common curricula for training activities in fields of relevance to both organisations. Eurojust has already implemented good operational cooperation with CEPOL in the training area. Eurojust representatives regularly deliver training at CEPOL courses, seminars and conferences and CEPOL officials are invited as delegates at Eurojust meetings and seminars.
The European Border and Coast Guard Agency, originally established as Frontex, helps EU countries and Schengen-associated countries to manage their external borders and to align the border control processes of the Member States. Eurojust has cooperated with Frontex since the Agency’s establishment in 2005 to encourage and promote inter-agency cooperation and to support the fight against cross-border crime, including illegal immigrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings.
To consolidate their cooperation, in December 2013, Eurojust and Frontex signed a Memorandum of Understanding, through which the agencies agreed to:
establish a Contact Point tasked with coordinating cooperation between the two parties;
- consult with each other on issues of common interest, including providing information about developments in fields and projects of mutual interest;
- coordinate, where appropriate, their cooperation activities in multilateral fora such as the Heads of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Agencies and the Standing Committee on Operational Cooperation on Internal Security (COSI);
- exchange relevant strategic and technical information and analysis related to serious cross-border crime, including general findings resulting from Eurojust's activities (but not to exchange operational information, including data relating to an identified or identifiable person);
prepare and implement joint training activities, to encourage and improve cooperation in the fight against serious cross-border crime, particularly organised crime, smuggling and trafficking in human beings; and
- exchange expertise and best practices on areas of common interest.
The entry into force of the new Frontex Regulation and the entry into application of the new Eurojust Regulation represent a significant change of the two agencies’ mandate and future relations.
The Memorandum of Understanding with the EMCDDA signed on 15 July 2014 focuses on drug-related matters relevant to judicial cooperation — including drug supply, drug supply reduction and legislation — and will be implemented through joint activities, decided on the basis of the partners’ respective work programmes. The MoU also reflects the focus of the 2014–2017 EU Policy Cycle for organised and serious international crime, under which the Council of the EU prioritises specific objectives to address the trafficking of synthetic drugs, cocaine and heroin.
More about EU agencies
All EU agencies cooperate in the EU Agencies Network. Learn more about the agencies by reading the brochures on JHA agencies or how EU agencies work for you.