The Hague, 17 April 2012
Ms Michèle Coninsx, Vice-President and National Member for Belgium, was elected today as new President of Eurojust.
Today, during a special plenary meeting, the College of Eurojust elected Michèle Coninsx, Vice-President and National Member for Belgium, as President of Eurojust. This election must be approved by the Council of the European Union by qualified majority.
Her mandate will commence on 1 May 2012, replacing Aled Williams, who will retire.
Michèle Coninsx is National Member for Belgium, and has a career in the judiciary of almost 25 years. From 1997 to 2001, just before joining Eurojust, she was one of the three Belgian national prosecutors in charge of coordinating the fight against organised crime and terrorism at country-wide level, with full jurisdictional powers over the 27 Belgian chief prosecutors.
In 2001, Ms Coninsx joined Pro-Eurojust in Brussels as deputy prosecutor general and National Member for Belgium. As President of Pro-Eurojust during the Belgian Presidency of the European Council in 2001, she created the Eurojust team structure and organised one of the first press conferences.
From 2001-2004, she chaired the Casework Committee focusing on operational issues, and since 2004, she has chaired the Counter-Terrorism Team. The Counter-Terrorism Team at Eurojust is a centre of expertise at judicial level in the field of counter-terrorism. Under the chairmanship of Ms Coninsx, the process of information-gathering of counter-terrorism-related issues has been streamlined, enabling Eurojust to contribute valuable judicial input to the TE-SAT report. Ms Coninsx also chaired all the strategic meetings on terrorism with a specific emphasis on confidence-building, networking and information-sharing among EU counter-terrorism practitioners.
In December 2007, after being elected Vice-President, she became a member of the Presidency Team, and from December 2009 to February 2010, she was acting President of Eurojust. In February 2011, she was re-elected as Vice-President of Eurojust.
Ms Coninsx has a Master’s degree in Law and a Master’s degree in Criminology. She also received the Aggregation higher secondary education (Law). She is specialised in aviation law. Prior to joining Eurojust, Ms Coninsx was a National Prosecutor in Belgium, dealing with terrorism and organised crime at the national level. As Expert for the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), she was in charge of training in aviation security in several countries, including Kenya, Thailand, Sri Lanka, China, Japan and New Zealand, and of anti-terrorism training related to aircraft sabotage and hijacking.
Ms Coninsx is author of several publications, including Private Security Companies, The search of persons at airports, Judicial Handbook for Aviation Police Officers, Air Law for Air Traffic Controllers, and The fight against terrorism in the air. She was also keynote speaker at different international aviation security conferences dealing with terrorism in the air, airport security, human resources management and aviation security training for airport personnel.
After the election, Ms Coninsx commented: “I am really very pleased to be elected as the fourth President of Eurojust, and especially by the trust put in me by my colleagues, the National Members. I will need their support in the future in my mandate, as we are facing a lot of challenges ahead. We have to raise our operational ability, strengthen the links with our judicial partners and stakeholders, and execute the Lisbon Treaty. All this will lead to an improved fight against organised international crime, and make Europe a safer place.”
Ms Michèle Coninsx, President of Eurojust
(photo in hi-res available from Eurojust)
For more information, please contact:
Mr Joannes THUY, Spokesperson - Head of Press & PR Service
EUROJUST - Maanweg 174, 2516 AB, The Hague, the Netherlands
Tel +31 70 412 5508