As part of their efforts to facilitate the use of the European Investigation Order (EIO), Eurojust and the European Judicial Network (EJN) published ‘The Joint Note of Eurojust and the European Judicial Network on the practical application of the European Investigation Order’ in June 2019. The first edition of the Joint Note, which will be updated on a regular basis, is a compilation of information on the EIO and its practical application gathered by Eurojust and the EJN from meetings, documents and casework since the entry into force of the EIO Directive in May 2017.
The objective of the Joint Note is to serve as practical guidance for practitioners in their daily use of the EIO in line with the principles of mutual recognition and mutual trust. It addresses common issues and challenges encountered by national authorities when using the EIO, includes best practice and guidelines on when and how to use the EIO in all four stages of the EIO life cycle (issuance, transmission, recognition and execution), and gives concrete examples of the practical support offered by Eurojust and the EJN in the EIO application of the EIO Directive.
The Joint Note:
- explains the scope of the EIO, including criteria for determining when the EIO Directive should apply, or when other measures that are not covered by the EIO Directive should be used;
- advises on how to complete the EIO form in terms of content and language, including information or documents to be provided, or how to solve translation issues;
- provides guidance on the issuance and transmission of an EIO, regarding its proportionality, the competent authorities involved, as well as the channels for transmission;
- gives practical examples in relation to an EIO recognition and execution, including on the relevant competent authorities, possible grounds for non-recognition or non-execution, and information on urgent cases;
- illustrates the bridge-making role of Eurojust and the EJN when a consultation procedure is triggered;
- elaborates on the use of specific investigative measures related to the EIO, e.g. telephone conferences or videoconferences or interception of telecommunications;
- adresses the application of the specialty rule in the context of the EIO Directive; and
- clarifies the use of the EIO vis-à-vis other judicial cooperation tools, such as freezing instruments, joint investigation teams (JITs), and European Arrest Warrants (EAWs).
Eurojust helps practitioners in bilateral cases in clarifying legal and practical issues, obtaining/providing necessary additional information in the context of one of the consultation procedures that the EIO Directive foresees, and finding balanced solutions where different national systems clash. In multilateral cases, Eurojust has a unique coordinating role, particularly in complex cases, where action days are planned simultaneously in different Member States and/or third States and where Eurojust can provide support in the context of a coordination meeting and/or a coordination centre.
The EJN has an extended network of contact points who serve as ‘active intermediaries’, establishing direct contacts between the national authorities and providing legal and practical information necessary to prepare an effective request for judicial cooperation. In the context of application of the EIO directive, the EJN could advise on how to proceed in urgent cases or when several measures need to be taken in different areas of a country. On the EJN website, information and tools on the practical application of the EIO are provided under the EIO section.