Latest editorials All articles
Eurojust – the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation – was first established by Council Decision 2002/187/JHA (Eurojust Decision). It is tasked primarily with the facilitation and coordination of criminal investigations and prosecutions of transnational crime in the countries that are members of the EU (Member States). However, effective criminal prosecution of most serious forms of trans-border crime may not depend only on judicial cooperation within the EU. Due to nature of this type of crime, third countries also have to be included if it is to be investigated and prosecuted in its entirety. This article describes how Eurojust, as an EU agency, can contribute to more effective judicial cooperation with non-Member States, what types of support it can provide, and on which legal bases the support can be provided. It describes the stage that development cooperation with third countries has reached since Eurojust became operational. This development now … Read more
Editorial Guest Editorial eucrim 3/2019
Dear Readers, Cross-border cooperation between prosecuting authorities in Europe can still be a challenging effort in 2019. Within the EU, in spite of the many improved tools available to prosecutors, such as the European Investigation Order, cooperation is still very much a matter of the willingness and readiness of the requested country to cooperate and of the allocation of resources. In fact, the EU’s legal framework in this field is still based on the decision of the requested (judicial or prosecuting) authority to execute the requested activity, even when fundamental rights are not at stake. The basics of the legal… Read more
OLAF Investigations Outside the European Union
Practical and Legal Aspects
The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) is an independent body that fights against illegal activities affecting the Union’s financial interests. It carries out investigations of an administrative nature, both within the European Union and beyond its borders.
This article outlines the legal framework within which OLAF conducts investigations in non-EU countries on the expenditure side of the EU budget. It describes OLAF’s competence to act outside the EU, as defined in the EU’s legislative framework and mirrored in international agreements. The discussion includes an analysis of the unique tools OLAF has to act, based on the contractual obligations of the economic operator, elements of which were clarified in two recent judgments of the European General Court. In addition, practical aspects of investigations in non-EU countries are highlighted, focussing in particular on pre-accession and European Neighbourhood countries. The article concludes with an outlook on how the OLAF’s particular expertise could further enhance … Read more
Rethinking Judicial Cooperation between Africa and Europe
The Nigerian Case
In 1993, France appointed the first liaison magistrate in Italy to improve judicial cooperation between the two countries. Since then, various European, American, North African, and Middle Eastern countries have created liaison magistrate posts worldwide, but this tradition does not exist in Sub-Saharan Africa. Such deployments could be particularly useful, however, considering the challenges European countries face as regards judicial cooperation with West and Central African countries in the field of transnational organized crime. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has tackled these challenges by supporting the deployment of two Nigerian prosecutors to Italy and Spain since 2018, in order to strengthen judicial cooperation in the field of human trafficking and smuggling of migrants.
This innovative approach has contributed to shortening the channels of communication between jurisdictions; to better understanding respective legal, institutional, procedural frameworks as well as the nature and type of criminal networks; and to building … Read more
Judicial Cooperation Between the EPPO and Third Countries
Chances and Challenges
The article deals with the European Public Prosecutor’s Office’s (EPPO’s) specific role in the fight against EU fraud in relation to third countries, i.e. countries outside the EU. It contains an overview of the various legal avenues in the EPPO Regulation that the EPPO may explore for engaging in judicial cooperation with such third countries. It then describes the legal parameters that will mostly affect the application of these various modalities in practice. In its conclusion, the article assumes that it may well prove to be rather challenging for the EPPO to develop its external role and that it is likely to have to deal with a patchwork of forms of judicial cooperation as a result, as this will depend on factors like the nature of the case and the third country involved. Equally, once the EPPO is up and running and in a position to start defining its external … Read more
La coopération en matière pénale entre le Parquet européen et la Suisse comme État tiers
Futur ou conditionnel ?
Mutual assistance in criminal matters between the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) and third States, including Switzerland, is a true challenge. The need for cooperation will exist from the very first days of the EPPO’s existence, but its implementation is a problematic issue: on the one hand, the possibilities offered by the Regulation establishing the EPPO raise questions as regards their compatibility with public international law and the basic rules governing mutual legal assistance. On the other hand, Swiss mutual assistance law is not, as it stands, adapted to enable Swiss authorities to cooperate with the EPPO.Read more