The Hague, 30 September 2019
Ms Christine Lambrecht, the newly appointed German Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection, as well as Ms Nicole Belloubet, French Minister of Justice since 2017, visited Eurojust today to reaffirm their full support for Eurojust and its ongoing fight against cross-border organised crime. Mr Ladislav Hamran, President of Eurojust, Mr Klaus Meyer-Cabri, Vice-President of Eurojust and National Member for Germany at Eurojust and Mr Baudoin Thouvenot, National Member from France at Eurojust since 2 September 2019, discussed with the Ministers how they can optimise trans-European judicial cooperation at bilateral and EU level to bring more criminals and their networks to justice.
Ms Christine Lambrecht said after the meeting: ‘Eurojust is a valued and successful partner of the EU Member States’ judicial authorities and has long been an integral part of the European area of freedom, security and justice. Today, crime is often cross-border and, therefore, prosecutors and courts must increasingly act at cross-border level if criminal proceedings are to succeed. Eurojust supports judicial authorities effectively and with great commitment. I am pleased that the German Desk at Eurojust has a significant contribution to this and that it assumes organisational responsibility for Eurojust through its German Vice-President. I wish Eurojust continued success in its important work. However, to achieve this, Eurojust needs adequate funding and resources.’
Ms Nicole Belloubet stated: ‘During the very fruitful meeting I have had with Eurojust President Mr Ladislav Hamran, we were able to discuss the French initiative to create a Judicial Counter-Terrorism Register, which has been given support by the seven EU Member States that belong to the Vendôme Group. I have no doubt that this register, which has just started, will be a very efficient tool for judicial authorities in combating terrorism. On this occasion, I have expressed again to the President my support for Eurojust, which is an indispensable tool for judicial cooperation between Member States in criminal matters.’
Mr Ladislav Hamran said: ‘We warmly welcome the French and German Ministers of Justice at Eurojust. Their presence here demonstrates the strong commitment of their countries to our common goal and the political will to intensify and expand our collaboration. Only together can we improve security for our fellow European citizens and guarantee that European values, such as respect for human life and dignity, are widely upheld.’
The discussions centred on the key role of Germany and France in successfully combatting serious crime in Europe, inter alia drug trafficking, migrant smuggling, trafficking in human beings, terrorism, cybercrime and various types of fraud. The officials explored avenues for expanding multinational cooperation and making best use of Eurojust’s legal expertise and judicial tools, e.g. joint investigation teams, coordination meetings and coordination centres, to advance national investigations and prosecutions of international crime.
This was the first official mission of the German Minister abroad, since her appointment, in the context of her participation in the Vendome Group meeting, currently hosted by Mr Ferdinand Grapperhaus, Dutch Minister of Justice and Security. As Ms Lambrecht bears ultimate responsibility for the German Desk at Eurojust, which is subject to the jurisdiction of the German Ministry of Justice, she stressed the importance of continuing and strengthening the successful cooperation with Eurojust.
Ms Belloubet also reiterated the need to enhance bilateral and multilateral efforts within Eurojust to target trans-border crime more efficiently. The French Minister also pinpointed the significance of the recently created Judicial Counter-Terrorism Register at Eurojust to reinforce judicial coordination against terrorist threats, by providing 24/7 support to national judicial authorities.
Photo © Eurojust. From left to right: Mr Meyer-Cabri, Ms Lambrecht, Mr Hamran, Ms Belloubet, Mr Thouvenot