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.
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
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.