The establishment of a EuroMed Judicial Network of contact points (EMJNet) is one the main objectives of the new phase of the EuroMed Justice Programme, hosted by Eurojust since May 2020. This network will be composed of practitioners who can assist with requests for international judicial cooperation in criminal matters and who will strengthen the contacts and the operational cooperation between criminal justice authorities from South Partner Countries (SPCs) and EU Member States.
The discussion between CrimEx members (permanent Euro-Mediterranean experts working group) regarding the set-up of EMJNet with a specialised cyber and digital evidence sub-group were completed by the insightful presentations from relevant international stakeholders (Council of Europe C-Proc Office, Interpol, G7 Network of cybercrime contact points, European Judicial Cybercrime Network, Eurojust Cybercrime Team and UNODC). They shared good practices and lessons learned on the creation of such a network.
During this 12th session, CrimEx members welcomed Egypt, which participated for the first time in a CrimEx meeting of this new phase of the EMJ Programme. The Egyptian representative joined during this meeting seven other South Partner Countries (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine1 and Tunisia), 10 EU Member States and Eurojust officials.
Another key element addressed at the 12th CrimEx is the organisation of the 3rd Prosecutors General Forum of EMJ. The format, the topics to be addressed and the tentative dates of the Prosecutors General Forum were discussed. The Forum of Prosecutors General, which has been bringing together prosecutors general from both sides of the Mediterranean on an annual basis since 2018, plays an important role in endorsing CrimEx recommendations and decides on strategies and policies to be developed in the region for the enhancing of cross-border cooperation in criminal matters.
Training is also an essential component of the EMJ Programme, which is highly involved in capacity building for criminal justice authorities of both SPCs and EU Member States. Following a presentation by the EMJ Programme team on the status of implementation of the training component, the Romanian National Institute for Magistrates and the Belgian Judicial Institute shared with CrimEx the national experience with regard to training on international judicial cooperation in criminal matters.
Since the beginning of the new phase of the EuroMed Justice Programme, three regular CrimEx sessions were held online due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, with permanent simultaneous interpretation in English, French and Arabic.
As usual, exchanges between participants and countries were numerous, constructive and respectful.
This designation shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of the Member States on this issue.