The main responsibility to prosecute the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes lies with States. This obligation stems from international treaties and international customary law. Effective prosecution must therefore be ensured by taking measures at national level and by enhancing international cooperation.
The Genocide Network was established to ensure close cooperation between EU Member States’ national authorities in investigating and prosecuting the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Its first meeting was held in November 2004, although the Network Secretariat was not established until 2011. Next to Eurojust and Europol, the Genocide Network is mandated to support the Member States’ efforts and facilitate the coordination of their actions in the fight against impunity of perpetrators of core international crimes. With its expertise and composition, the Genocide Network has a vital role in ensuring the European Union’s commitment to fighting impunity within its area and beyond.
The Genocide Network promotes the effective investigation and prosecution of core international crimes at national level by means of:
- exchanging information on criminal investigations and prosecutions of people suspected of having committed, or participated in the commission of, core international crimes;
- facilitating cooperation between the law enforcement and judicial authorities of Member States;
- exchanging best practice, experience and methods relating to the investigation and prosecution of relevant crimes;
- raising awareness of these crimes and the of the European Union’s commitment to ending the impunity of perpetrators of core international crimes; and
- assisting in capacity building for the efficient investigation and prosecution of core international crimes.