A delegation from the Swedish Ministry of Justice, headed by State Secretary Ann Linde, today visited Eurojust’s premises in The Hague. The delegation included Ambassador Anders Ahnlid, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Sweden to the European Union, and H.E. Håkan Emsgård, Ambassador of Sweden to the Netherlands.
Among the agenda points discussed were current judicial challenges on how to better fight cross-border crime, and the forthcoming new Eurojust regulation.
Eurojust supports the Member States by facilitating the cooperation and coordination of the investigation and prosecution of serious cross-border crime involving two or more EU Member States. The list of crimes it combats includes terrorism, cybercrime, 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.
After the meeting Mrs Linde commented: ‘Sweden values this kind of judicial cooperation very highly. Cross-border crime requires intense cross-border cooperation. Ultimately, especially when dealing with serious crimes, citizens must be able to trust that the judicial systems of the EU function across borders. At the same time, you must balance and protect citizens’ rights, integrity, and the Rule of Law, for example when issuing orders for searches or seizures. This is why it is imperative that prosecutors are involved from the start when fighting cross-border crime. We have seen an excellent job being done by Eurojust, and support its endeavours in its fight against crime.’
The President of Eurojust, Ms Michèle Coninsx hosted the delegation together with Mr Leif Görts, the Swedish representative to Eurojust, who jointly commented: ‘It is vital for us to have close contact with the Member States. Therefore, we highly appreciate the opportunity to meet with the Member States’ highest representatives to align our work and to discuss our priorities and the way ahead in the fight against cross border crime.’
Eurojust, the European Union’s judicial coordination body, uses several ‘tools’ in its work: coordination meetings, coordination centres and joint investigation teams.
Coordination meetings bring together both law enforcement and judicial authorities from Member States and third States, allowing for strategic, informed and targeted operations in cross-border crime cases and the resolution of legal and practical difficulties resulting from the differences in the 30 existing legal systems in the European Union. In 2013, 206 coordination meetings were held.
Coordination centres foster the support, coordination and immediate follow-up of seizures, arrests, house/company searches, freezing orders and witness interviews.
A joint investigation team is a team consisting of judges, prosecutors and law enforcement authorities, established for a fixed period and a specific purpose by way of a written agreement between the States involved, to carry out criminal investigations in one or more of the involved States.
All of Eurojust’s press releases and announcements about its work can be found here.
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