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Eurojust hosts Consultative Forum meeting

19/12/2012

 
The fifth meeting of the Consultative Forum of Prosecutors General and Directors of Public Prosecutions of the Member States of the European Union took place at Eurojust on 14 December. The meeting was chaired, on behalf of the Cyprus EU Presidency, by Mr Petros Clerides, Attorney General of the Republic of Cyprus, and was organised with the support of Eurojust.
 
In attendance were representatives from the public prosecution services of 26 Member States, as well as the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU, the European Parliament, the European Commission and OLAF, and many Eurojust representatives.
 
On the agenda were two important and challenging topics: the fight against crimes affecting the EU’s financial interests and improving judicial cooperation and mutual recognition in the freezing and confiscation of criminal assets. Extensive discussion took place concerning the impact of the July 2012 draft Directive on the fight against PIF crimes by means of criminal law, and the respective roles of the EU, Eurojust and the Member States. In addition, problems and best practices in asset recovery, the use of existing EU instruments, and the March 2012 draft Directive on freezing and confiscation of proceeds of crime in the European Union were discussed at length.
 
Some of the major contentious issues highlighted were: definitions of PIF offences, jurisdictional concerns, harmonisation of sanctions, time limits, the importance of all these issues for the future establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, obstacles to asset recovery, and the fragmented EU legal framework relating to freezing and confiscation.
 
Participants acknowledged that Eurojust has the potential to positively assist judicial authorities in all above-mentioned areas, including cases involving third States. Judicial authorities should therefore make greater use of Eurojust.
 
Finally, with regard to future perspectives, the Forum members asked Eurojust to continue to provide support to the activities of the Consultative Forum.
 
The next meeting of the Consultative Forum may take place in late April/early May 2013 under the Irish EU Presidency.