Editorial: 10 Years of eucrim

Dear Readers,

In early 2016, eucrim celebrated its 10th anniversary. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this endeavor over the years. Special thanks go to all our readers, authors, the Max Planck team, and the Commission. Without you, the longstanding achievements of eucrim would not have been possible!

When we look back on the development of eucrim, it has been an overall success. From the very beginning, eucrim went beyond the original idea of being merely a newsletter on European criminal law. During the past ten years, it has also evolved into a well-known journal for academics, practitioners, and policy-makers by providing a platform for renowned authors. Thus, the overall value of eucrim is the provision of sound information that enables us to understand developments in European criminal law and the protection of the EU’s financial interests.

However, in the 10th year of eucrim, we are also facing worrisome changes. The EU is coping with several crises. The migration crisis shows the lack of European solidarity and an erosion of the “Schengen ideal.” At the national level, we are witnessing euroscepticism caused by egotism, right-wing demagoguery, and, in some Member States, a substantial loss of freedom. People are losing trust in the EU, as illustrated by the Dutch referendum on the EU-Ukraine association agreement and the opinion polls on a possible “Brexit.” Similar tendencies can be observed in the field of European criminal law. Although research studies and OLAF’s reports have clearly shown the need for a genuine European Public Prosecutor’s Office with strong supranational elements, many national governments are eyeing the EPPO with suspicion and hesitating to go ahead with it.

We have to pay attention to and counteract these negative trends. This means maintaining our critical attitude with respect to possibly misguided developments at the European and national levels and advocating for a better balance between security and liberty as well as between national sovereignty and Europeanisation. Delicate decisions with respect to these conflicting aims should be made rationally, with due regard for constitutional values, human rights standards, and the principle of subsidiarity, and they should be based on empirical and normative research instead of on populist rhetoric. Indeed, a strong alliance between researchers and practitioners is essential and will help improve the often poorly conceived political compromises on the national and supranational levels.

Above all, due to the rising euroscepticism and populist demagoguery on the national level, we must uphold our vision of a strong Europe and defend it rationally. We should focus on what Europe has already achieved. Lawyers too, must shed more light on the costly threat of a non-Europe. According to a new study, losses to the European economy from corruption cause significant damages in GDP if EU-wide action is lacking (see also, p. 10). Moreover, the benefits of the EU cannot be measured solely in terms of GDP and a more effective use of public resources but the substantial values of freedom, security, justice and peace must also be included in the equation.

For this reason, the next issue of eucrim (2/2016) will focus on the “Costs of Non-Europe” in the fields of criminal law and the protection of the EU’s financial interests. I kindly invite you to contribute to this issue by sending us articles or short notes on this topic. The submission of articles, including those that are based on sound research and practical experience on the development of policy guidelines and legal measures, is particularly welcome.

During the next ten years, eucrim aspires to be a forum for defending our values and ideals of a strong Europe supported by rational arguments, objective research, and the invaluable knowledge of experienced practitioners!