During a Justice and Home Affairs meeting in Brussels yesterday (4 December), presided over by Mr Andrea Orlando, Minister for Justice of Italy, the Council of the European Union reached a partial general approach on the new Eurojust regulation (Note: the Council’s full press release can be read here). Of note is that the provisions relating to the European Public Prosecutor’s Office and chapter IV on data protection have been excluded from the partial general approach, as they are linked to other legislative proposals which have yet to be concluded. The proposal should increase Eurojust's efficiency, improve its operational effectiveness and streamline Eurojust’s functioning and structure in line with the Lisbon Treaty.
Renewal of the EU’s Internal Security Strategy
The renewed EU Internal Security Strategy was also discussed. The main common threats and challenges for the coming years in the field of internal security were identified as:
1) serious and organised crime; 2) terrorism, radicalisation, recruitment and financing related to terrorism; 3) cybercrime and the need for cyber security; 4) threats and challenges stemming from the use of new technologies; 5) recognising that new and emerging threats should be closely identified and monitored by using an intelligence-led approach; and 6) recognising that crises and natural and man-made disasters can have major implications on the EU's internal security. The Council’s press release can be read here.
New operational network against mafia and organised crime groups
The Council also adopted a resolution on the creation of an operational network to counter mafia-style serious and organised crime groups. The network, named @ON, will have the objectives of strengthening and developing cooperation and communication between the law enforcement authorities of Member States to counter mafia-style serious and organised crime groups.
The operational methods will:
(a) make available on-site specialised investigators with a consulting capacity regarding the specific investigated OCG;
(b) improve information exchange, through the SIENA channel, to develop a more accurate intelligence picture of organised crime, in cooperation with Europol;
(c) support the existing initiatives to improve the administrative approach in the fight against mafia-style serious and organised crime groups, in coordination with the Network on Administrative Approach to Prevent and Fight Organised Crime, including the recovery of assets illegally acquired by criminal organisations;
(d) make efforts to strengthen cooperation to prevent criminal infiltration into public procurement procedures;
(e) support cooperation with CEPOL regarding training on specific investigative methods in the fight against such crime, and the European Network of Law Enforcement Technology Services (ENLETS) in identifying the necessary improvements regarding the technological equipment used by specialised units. The Council’s press release can be read here.
All of Eurojust’s news and press releases can be found here.
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