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Consultative Forum meeting held at Eurojust

08/05/2013

On 25 and 26 April 2013, the Consultative Forum of Prosecutors General and Directors of Public Prosecutions of the Member States of the European Union (Consultative Forum) met in The Hague. The meeting was co-organised by Eurojust and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions of Ireland. The main topics on the agenda were the practical operation of the European Public Prosecution’s Office and the implementation of the Directive on the Rights of Victims.

On 25 April, a workshop, The proposed European Public Prosecutor’s Office: How will it work in practice?, was held. The workshop focused on key aspects relating to the operation of the European Public Prosecution’s Office at national level as well as in relation to Eurojust. On the basis of a case example, national practitioners and Eurojust College Members shared views and proposals on the way a future European Public Prosecutor’s Office would handle a case from its preliminary phase, through the initiation of investigations and then towards prosecution and trial. Substantial questions related to the gathering and admissibility of evidence and cooperation with Member States not participating in the enhanced cooperation in the form of a European Public Prosecutor’s Office and with third States were addressed.

On 26 April, the Consultative Forum discussed the conclusions of the workshop in the plenary session. The conclusions endorsed by the Consultative Forum will be made available soon on the Eurojust website.

Forum members also shared their experiences regarding the role of the victim in criminal proceedings in the different legal systems of the Member States with a view to the implementation and impact of Directive 2012/29/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime.

Finally, the participants were updated on the state of play of EU legal instruments of special relevance to the Consultative Forum, with special focus on data protection.

Background:
The Consultative Forum, established in 2010, brings together all Prosecutors General and Directors of Public Prosecution Services of the Member States for the purpose of reinforcing the judicial dimension of the EU strategy for internal security by promoting the active involvement of national prosecutorial authorities. In this context, its main objectives are:

  • To share experiences and best practices
    • in dealing with serious organised crime (such as trafficking in human beings, drug trafficking, fraud and other offences affecting the EU’s financial interests);
    • in the use of procedures and investigation techniques, including rules on evidence; and
    • in the use of judicial cooperation tools and instruments (e.g. European Arrest Warrant, MLA requests);
  • To provide tangible input on EU internal security issues, as well as, where relevant, on the work of the Standing Committee on Operational Cooperation on Internal Security (COSI); and
  • To contribute to legislative initiatives at EU level.

The Consultative Forum meets at least once per year at the invitation of the representative of the Member State holding the EU Presidency. A managing board, composed of the Trio Presidency, has been set up to ensure continuity in the Consultative Forum’s work. The meetings of the Consultative Forum are hosted by Eurojust, usually at its premises in The Hague.

The next meeting of the Consultative Forum will take place under the Lithuanian Presidency on 12-13 December 2013.