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Background

Mission and tasks

Eurojust stimulates and improves the coordination of investigations and prosecutions and the cooperation between the competent authorities in the Member States, particularly by facilitating the execution of international mutual legal assistance requests and the implementation of extradition requests. Eurojust supports in any way possible the competent authorities of the Member States to render their investigations and prosecutions more effective when dealing with cross-border crime.

At the request of a Member State, Eurojust may assist investigations and prosecutions concerning that particular Member State and a non-Member State if a cooperation agreement has been concluded or if an essential interest in providing such assistance is demonstrated.

Eurojust's competence covers the same types of crimes and offences for which Europol has competence, such as terrorism, drug trafficking, trafficking in human beings, counterfeiting, money laundering, computer crime, crime against property or public goods including fraud and corruption, criminal offences affecting the European Community's financial interests, environmental crime and participation in a criminal organisation. For other types of offences, Eurojust may assist in investigations and prosecutions at the request of a Member State.

Eurojust may ask the competent authorities of the Member States concerned to:

  • investigate or prosecute specific acts;
  • coordinate with one another;
  • accept that one country is better placed to prosecute than another;
  • set up a joint investigation team; or
  • provide Eurojust with information necessary to carry out its tasks.

Furthermore, Eurojust:

  • shall ensure that the competent authorities inform each other of investigations and prosecutions of which they themselves have been informed;
  • shall assist the competent authorities in ensuring the best possible coordination of investigations and prosecutions;
  • shall give assistance to improve cooperation between the competent national authorities, particularly based on Europol's analyses;
  • shall cooperate and consult with the European Judicial Network (EJN), and make use of and contribute to the improvement of its documentary database;
  • may, in accordance with its objectives, try to improve cooperation and coordination between the competent authorities, and forward requests for judicial assistance when they: (i) are made by the competent authority of a Member State, (ii) concern an investigation or prosecution conducted by that authority in a specific case, and (iii) necessitate its intervention with a view to coordinated action;
  • may assist Europol, particularly with opinions based on analyses carried out by Europol; and
  • may supply logistical support, e.g. assistance in translation, interpretation and the organisation of coordination meetings.

Eurojust Regulation

The Eurojust Regulation (Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation), applicable from December 2019, revises both the list of crime types for which Eurojust is competent to act and the actions the agency can take. The Regulation provides the possibility for Eurojust to act on its own initiative as well as on the request of the Member States and that of the EPPO, and to be more proactive in handling cases or sharing information.