Ms Tiina Astola, Director-General for Justice and Consumers at the European Commission, visited Eurojust on 12 May to gain insight into Eurojust’s work and discuss recent challenges in judicial cooperation in criminal matters, also in light of the reform of Eurojust.
Ms Astola was welcomed by Ms Michèle Coninsx, President of Eurojust, and engaged in an active debate with representatives of the College of Eurojust and the JITs Network Secretariat, which is hosted by Eurojust. The visit provided the opportunity for a fruitful exchange between the Commission and Eurojust on the judicial dimension in the fight against serious cross-border crime, with a special focus on Eurojust’s activities in countering:
- terrorism and radicalisation,
- cybercrime, and recent developments towards a network of prosecutors specialised in cybercrime, and
- illegal immigrant smuggling
After the visit, Ms Astola commented:
We all agree that it is vital to ensure a coordinated EU justice response to counter evolving criminal and security threats to the 28 Member States and the EU as a whole. I was impressed by the work of Eurojust on my first visit, which gave me a good picture of the challenges for the agency, and look forward to our good cooperation.
Ms Coninsx commented:
Through its National Desks, Eurojust builds unique bridges between the Member States for the efficient and successful investigation and prosecution of serious crimes of a cross-border nature. The ever-increasing casework of Eurojust demonstrates that Eurojust is a recognised and needed key actor to counter crime and meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.
Ms Tiina Astola has been Director-General for Justice and Consumers at the European Commission since 1 February 2016. As Permanent Secretary at the Finnish Ministry of Justice since 2007, Ms Astola, a Finnish national, is the highest ranking official in the Ministry, with overall responsibility for both international and domestic law matters. She studied law at the University of Turku, Finland, and holds a Master's degree from Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Throughout her career, Ms Astola has held a variety of positions, including management posts, in the Ministries of Justice and of Finance. When she headed the European Law team and later the Private Law team at the Ministry of Justice, Ms Astola was involved in developing European law in important areas.