The Hague, 31 May 2013
On 29 May, the President of Eurojust, Ms Michèle Coninsx, presented the Eurojust Annual Report 2012 to the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) of the European Parliament.
The Annual Report is an instrument by which Eurojust is evaluated. The report is submitted to the Commission, Council and European Parliament. It highlights Eurojust’s work in fighting serious crime affecting the Member States, takes stock of Eurojust’s operational activities, organisational developments and partnership relations, and evaluates the use of instruments for judicial cooperation. Eurojust’s casework increased in the EU priority crime areas of fraud, drug trafficking, (mobile) organised crime groups, money laundering, cybercrime, terrorism, and corruption.
Since 2009, the ongoing implementation process for the Council Decision on the Strengthening of Eurojust and the Lisbon Treaty have continued to pose challenges for Eurojust, notably in terms of their full implementation in the Member States and the interpretation of Articles 85 and 86 of the Lisbon Treaty on the possibility for the creation of a European Public Prosecutor’s Office “from Eurojust”.
The Council’s sixth round of mutual evaluations, on the practical implementation and operation of the Eurojust Decision, began in May 2012 and will last until 2014. Eurojust hopes that this exercise provides the necessary impetus to Member States that have yet to fully implement the Eurojust Decision.
Against the background of the global financial crisis and emerging crime phenomena, such as cybercrime and maritime piracy, the number of cases in which Member States requested Eurojust’s assistance in fighting serious cross-border crime increased 6.4%, from 1 441 cases in 2011 to a total of 1 533 cases in 2012.
Eurojust’s most successful judicial cooperation tools are the operational coordination meeting and the operational coordination centre. In 2012, Eurojust held 194 coordination meetings, over 50% of which involved three or more Member States, and most following the crime priority areas, most notably THB, drug trafficking and fraud. Seven coordination centres were used for on-the-spot liaison with police and judicial authorities on common action days.
Eurojust’s involvement in the setting up of joint investigation teams (JITs) rose by 42%, while the number of JITs financially supported by the Eurojust-administered JIT Funding Project nearly doubled from that of 2011, with 62 JITs involving 22 Member States. However, the grant for the JIT Funding Project ends in October 2013.
Ms Coninsx stated during her presentation: “In the last 12 months, we have worked very hard with a team of almost 300 individuals committed to fighting serious organised crime in Europe. If we cannot continue, as a judicial cooperation body, to financially support the setting up and functioning of JITs, we lose a golden opportunity to be effective in the fight against cross-border crime. Furthermore, if the European Public Prosecutor’s Office is to be effective, it will be integrated in the existing landscape, alongside and with the support of Eurojust for several reasons, including cost-effectiveness, sharing of expertise and sharing of experience. Eurojust has established direct links with the Member States, and has built trust with the national authorities. Without trust, the authorities would not use us.”
For more information on Eurojust, 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