On 25 April 2022, the European Commission proposed to amend the Eurojust Regulation to give the Agency the legal possibility to collect, preserve and share evidence on war crimes. The Commission statement underlined that ‘to ensure accountability for the crimes committed in Ukraine, it is crucial to ensure safe storage of evidence outside Ukraine as well as to support the investigations and prosecutions by various European and international judicial authorities. While Eurojust has practical experience on international crimes, the existing Regulation did not envisage a situation of this scale and crimes of this extent, requiring an update in Eurojust’s legal base.’
On 19 May 2022, the European Parliament voted in favour of the extension of Eurojust’s mandate, with 560 votes in favour, 17 against and 18 abstaining.
Six days later, on 25 May 2022, the Council of the European Union adopted the amendments of the Eurojust Regulation in a written procedure.
The amendment, which entered into force on 1 June 2022, solidifies the Agency’s existing legal basis to deal with evidence of core international crimes. The two major changes include:
- the creation of a dedicated database at Eurojust to store evidence of core international crimes; and
- Eurojust’s new mandate to analyse the evidence stored in the dedicated database.
Eurojust will set up the database where evidence of war crimes will be preserved and stored securely. The Agency 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 consolidated text of the amended Eurojust Regulation is available in all EU languages.