Eurojust and the war in Ukraine
On this page, you will find the latest information on Eurojust’s role in the judicial proceedings with regard to the war in Ukraine. Please refer to the Q&As for answers to the most common questions. Below that, the section ‘latest developments’ will give you an overview of recent proceedings and events. The Twitter feed shows the latest tweets and retweets of Eurojust in relation to Ukraine. If you are a media representative and you have questions beyond those answered on this page, please contact the Eurojust media team.
The ‘Freeze and Seize' Task Force was set up by the European Commission to ensure the efficient implementation of the EU sanctions against listed Russian and Belarussian oligarchs across the EU.
The Task Force is composed of the Commission, national contact points from each Member State, Eurojust and Europol as well as other EU agencies and bodies as necessary. It will coordinate actions by EU Member States, Eurojust, Europol and other agencies to seize and, where national law provides for it, confiscate assets of Russian and Belarussian oligarchs.
The amendment of the Eurojust Regulation solidifies the Agency’s existing legal basis to deal with evidence of core international crimes. The two major changes include: 1) the creation of a dedicated database at Eurojust to store evidence of core international crimes; and 2) Eurojust’s new mandate to analyse the evidence stored in the dedicated database. Eurojust will set up the Core International Crimes Evidence Database (CICED) where evidence of war crimes will be preserved and stored securely. Eurojust will analyse the evidence to establish links, identify investigative gaps and advise prosecutors on the way forward. Eurojust will work closely with the International Criminal Court, so that analysis can also benefit their investigation, through their cooperation with States concerned. Access to the information will always be subject to the approval of the country who provided it.
The amendment allows for Eurojust to store physical as well as digital evidence. However, in the first instance, the Agency will concentrate on storing digital evidence only. The evidence database will be set up within Eurojust’s secure IT environment and comply with the highest IT security and data protection standards.
Before the database can become operational, an assessment of the European Data Protection Supervisor of the proposed setup needs to take place. Once the data protection assessment is complete, the database will be operational shortly after. Eurojust has already started preparations for the database’s implementation and submitted for approval of the EDPS certain elements of the tool.
In addition to sending a (copy of) the evidence or potential evidence collected, national authorities will share information about the evidence in an Evidence Registration Log.
This will ensure that evidence is transmitted in a uniform way and facilitate the subsequent processing, cross-checking, and analysis.
When the Commission published the legislative proposal, Eurojust immediately started preparing for the implementation. The aim is to have the database operational as soon as possible after the European Data Protection Supervisor’s assessment. Implementation is done in phases to enable the soonest possible deployment of the systems.
Eurojust will receive evidence submitted by national authorities. Information collected by private parties such as NGO’s and Civil Society Organisations may eventually become evidence, but it needs to be assessed by national and international judicial authorities. Private parties are therefore asked to submit relevant information to their national authorities.
The amendment enables Eurojust to play a central role in the prosecution of core international crimes committed during current and future armed conflicts, regardless of their geographical location.