New criminal justice landscape completed
6 November 2018
Today, the Council of the European Union adopted the Eurojust Regulation (EJR), after the European Parliament had given its approval already in October. This adoption completes the European Union’s legislative work to create a new EU security architecture to step up its fight against trans-border crime and better serve and protect European citizens.
The EJR will replace the existing Eurojust Council Decision and will be applicable by the end of 2019. After the reform of Europol and Frontex as well as the creation of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, the EJR completes the new EU criminal justice landscape by setting up Eurojust as the EU Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation.
The EJR revises Eurojust’s governance structure by establishing an Executive Board to deal with administrative matters. Therefore, Eurojust’s College, which consists of prosecutors from all EU Member States, can focus more strongly on operational issues. The ever-increasing numbers of Eurojust cases, coordination meetings, coordination centres and joint investigation teams require a more efficient way of case handling. The EJR will make Eurojust fit for this purpose.
The EJR does not replace the successful core concept of supporting the national authorities in their investigations and prosecutions, and discovering links between cases. It confirms the current proactive role of Eurojust in its operational, strategic and tactical work.
The EJR brings Eurojust in line with the data protection rules that the EU recently adopted, taking into account Eurojust’s specific mandate to process data in the interest of fighting cross border crime.
The EJR also changes how Eurojust concludes cooperation agreements with third States and international organisations. Further, EJR includes rules on cooperation with the European Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The EJR enters into force in December 2018 (20 days after its publication in the EU’s Official Journal), but its application starts one year later, allowing Eurojust and Member States to prepare themselves to apply the new rules.