Report on Combatting Impunity for Core International Crimes
On 23 May 2022, the Genocide Network Secretariat published a report on the main developments in the fight against impunity for core international crimes in the EU.
Looking back at recommendations made in the 2014 strategy of the Genocide Network to combat impunity for the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes within the EU and its Member States, this new report highlights the achievements and shortcomings of the EU’s judicial response to such crimes in the last 20 years. As a result, the Genocide Network Secretariat will take measures to update the set of recommendations and to define a new strategy to combat impunity for such crimes.
Looking back at the past years, the report underlines that significant achievements have been reached. While in 2014, the Genocide Network was the only actor in the EU working on the topic of investigating and prosecuting core international crimes, today, three EU agencies, namely Eurojust, Europol and the European Union Agency for Asylum, contribute to tackling core international crimes under their respective mandates. Furthermore, many EU Member States have increased their capacities to tackle these crimes, e.g. by establishing specialised units, increasing cooperation between judicial and immigration/asylum authorities, or improving access to battlefield information as a new source of evidence. Recent developments also led to a stronger awareness of core international crimes in the EU and a renewed commitment to combating impunity.
In parallel to the report, a factsheet outlining key factors for successful investigations in and prosecutions of core international crime was published. Accordingly, the number of newly opened cases of core international crimes in Member States increased overall by 44% between 2016 and 2021; 3,171 cases were ongoing across all EU Member States in 2021.
The Genocide Network (i.e., the European network of contact points in respect of persons responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes) was established by the Council of the EU in 2002 to ensure close cooperation between national authorities in investigating and prosecuting the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The Secretariat of the Genocide Network is based at Eurojust in The Hague.