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Schroeder_Werner_sw.jpg Prof. Dr. Werner Schroeder LL.M. (Berkeley)

Limits to European Harmonisation of Criminal Law

1 April 2020 // english

The harmonisation of criminal law and criminal procedure in the EU is subject to specific conditions, which differ from those generally applicable to the approximation of laws in the Union. Specific limits may result from the rules of competence set out in Art. 82 et seq. TFEU, from EU fundamental rights, or from constitutional conditions applicable in certain Member States. These factors can impede the negative approximation of national criminal law systems through mutual recognition as well as the positive approximation through EU secondary law. Furthermore, if serious doubts arise as to whether the rule of law is fully respected by Member States participating in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice, the premise for any form of judicial cooperation in criminal matters in the EU is no longer valid.

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Dr. h.c. Hans G. Nilsson

Some Memories of the Third Pillar

18 February 2020 (updated 1 month, 1 week ago) // english

The author gives a personal overview of how the European Union became involved in criminal law over the last 20 years. He calls to mind the main stages of the development, from the Maastricht and Amsterdam Treaties to the draft European constitution and the Lisbon Treaty. The article also outlines the challenges that have emerged and compares the Council of Europe and the EU in their ability to shape European criminal law.

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Salazar70bearb_grau.jpg Lorenzo Salazar

Twenty Years since Tampere
The Development of Mutual Recognition in Criminal Matters

18 February 2020 (updated 1 month, 1 week ago) // english

Twenty years having passed since the Conclusions of the European Council in Tampere, which proposed the principle of mutual recognition as the “cornerstone” of judicial cooperation within the Union, the author takes the opportunity to reflect on the main achievements in this sector before and after the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon. From the enthusiasm following the adoption of the European Arrest Warrant to the recently achieved European Investigation Order and the Regulation on freezing and confiscation orders, the panorama of mutual recognition still seems to be characterized by excessive fragmentation. After Tampere and following the adoption of the consecutive programmes of action of 2004 (The Hague) and 2009 (Stockholm), no really new strategic guidelines have been adopted by the heads of state and governments, notwithstanding the clear mandate assigned to them by Art. 68 TFEU. Looking forward to the new Strategic Guidelines to be adopted in … Read more

Csonka_online.jpg Peter Csonka / landwehr_oliver_sw.jpg Dr. Oliver Landwehr

10 Years after Lisbon – How “Lisbonised” is the Substantive Criminal Law in the EU?

18 February 2020 (updated 1 month, 1 week ago) // english

10 years ago, on 1 December 2009, the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force and brought judicial cooperation in criminal matters from the sphere of intergovernmental cooperation fully into the fold of EU law and policies. Almost all former framework decisions in the field of substantive criminal law have now been “Lisbonised,” i.e., recast in the ordinary legislative procedure as legal acts (directives) of the Union in the sense of Art. 288 TFEU. However, in recent years, the enthusiasm of the early years has waned a bit and there seems to be little appetite for bold new legislative projects. Against this backdrop, the present article takes stock of the progress made in the harmonisation of substantive criminal law in the EU and attempts to look into its future.

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Hofmann_Margarete.jpg Margarete Hofmann / Stoykov_Stanislav_sw.jpg Stanislav Stoykov

OLAF – 20 Years of Protecting the Financial Interests of the EU

18 February 2020 (updated 1 month, 1 week ago) // english

In 2019, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) celebrated 20 years of existence. From today’s perspective, the Office could be qualified as one of the most recognisable Directorates-General of the European Commission. This is due to its unique powers, experience and the results achieved over the past twenty years. OLAF’s main mission is to investigate fraud against the EU budget, as well as serious misconduct within the European institutions, and to develop anti-fraud policy for the European Commission. For the time being, OLAF has concluded more than 5000 cases and recommended several billion euro be returned to the EU budget. In 2018 alone, OLAF opened 219 investigations after analysing incoming information in 1259 selections. It concluded 167 investigations, which led to OLAF issuing 256 recommendations to competent authorities at EU and national level.
This article focuses on the processes that led to the establishment of OLAF, the results that the Office has … Read more

De Angelis cropped_sw.jpg Francesco De Angelis

The European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) – Past, Present, and Future

18 February 2020 (updated 1 month, 1 week ago) // english

This article first gives a brief historic overview of the long road to the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), starting with the first ideas at the meeting of the Presidents of the European Criminal Law Associations in 1995 and worked out in more detail in the Corpus Juris drafts in 1997 and 1999. The driving force was ultimately the instalment of a legal basis in the 2007 Lisbon Treaty, which paved the way for the 2013 Commission legislative proposal and the final Council decision on the Regulation establishing the EPPO by means of enhanced cooperation in 2017. The article also argues that objections to the established scheme – especially those raised by the non-participating countries and national parliaments during negotiation of the Commission proposal − should not be ignored. These objections mainly refer to infringements of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality. According to the author, the … Read more