Klaus Meyer-Cabri was appointed National Member for Germany at Eurojust in September 2014. He was elected as one of the two Vice-Presidents of Eurojust in September 2016, and re-elected for a second term in November 2019. Before his present posting, Mr Meyer-Cabri was the Chief Advisor for the Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection of Germany as Head of the Office for EU Justice Policy and International Cooperation. Mr Meyer-Cabri has gathered a great deal of experience in international relations due to his many years as a legal counsellor at the Permanent Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany to the European Union in Brussels, where he was also involved in the preparatory work to establish Eurojust.
Deputy National Member
Selina Ganescu is the Deputy National Member since January 2020. She previously worked as the Assistant to the National Member for Germany from February 2018 until December 2019. Prior to joining Eurojust, she worked as a Senior Public Prosecutor at the Prosecutor General's Office in Düsseldorf in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. She is extensively experienced in fighting crimes concerning sexual abuse of children, trafficking of human beings and drug trafficking.
Assistants to the National Member
Silke Schönfleisch-Backofen has been Assistant to the National Member for Germany since July 2019. Prior to joining Eurojust, she worked as a prosecutor at the Public Prosecutor’s Office Frankfurt am Main from 2001 until 2012, where she specialised in murder cases, combating organised crime groups and investigating serious economic crime cases. In 2008/2009, she worked at the Prosecutor General's Office in Frankfurt am Main. From 2012 until 2019, she served as adviser at the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection in Berlin.
Andrea Laumans has been Assistant to the National Member for Germany since December 2019. Prior to joining Eurojust, she worked for several years as a public prosecutor at the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Konstanz, where she dealt with general crimes and related judicial cooperation. Ms Laumans worked as a judge for civil law cases prior to working as a prosecutor.
Lisa Elbert was appointed Assistant to the National Member for Germany in January 2020. Prior to joining Eurojust, she worked as a public prosecutor at the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Nürnberg-Fürth, especially on judicial cooperation cases. Ms Elbert previously worked at the Regional Court in Memmingen as a judge for civil cases.
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Interview with National Member Klaus Meyer-Cabri
What strikes you most about working at Eurojust?
If crime knows no borders, nor should crime fighters. The existing borders between the judicial systems need to be removed. Eurojust’s work ensures that. Working at Eurojust is a bit like being in the middle of a mini-Europe, but under one roof: the national borders start at the next office door. If there is an urgent need to discuss a question of judicial cooperation with Portugal or Lithuania, all we have to do is walk down the corridor and visit our Portuguese or Lithuanian colleagues. We receive answers on the spot or shortly afterwards. The process is simple, fast and effective, and we have efficient and direct lines of communication and cooperation, all based on a genuinely collegial approach.
A crime committed in Germany with cross-border dimensions is not just a German problem but also a shared problem. This applies not only to EU Member States but also to countries with which Eurojust has a cooperation agreement, for example the United States, Switzerland, Norway, Ukraine, Georgia or the Balkan states of Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. All of us here at Eurojust are bound by the same spirit: cooperation is the key to fighting cross-border crime. This is what we see and feel every day. It is very satisfying to have the privilege to work in such an environment. The Prince of Wales’ famous medieval motto ‘ich dien’ (I serve) could just as easily serve as the German Desk’s motto: we serve the offices of public prosecution – in Germany, in the EU and worldwide. In more modern terms: we are customer-friendly.
Could you describe a case that you have supported and which had a particularly successful outcome?
The German Desk played a leading role in recent years in many high-profile cases in Germany: examples include the terrible crash of the Germanwings plane, the Berlin terror attack, the so-called Panama Paper investigations and the VW investigations, to name but a few. However, we are equally proud of the cases in which we were able to assist our colleagues: examples include the terror attacks in France or Madrid, the Pollino case with Italy and the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 case with the Netherlands.
One case the German Desk recently assisted convincingly illustrates Eurojust’s effectiveness, even during the COVID-19 crisis: in Germany, the authorities uncovered a large-scale fraud with an offer of 10 million face masks for a price of EUR 15 million, for which one German state had shown an interest. Alleged suppliers in Asia were supposed to deliver the masks to a German sales company, via other European distributors, to be finally handed over in the Netherlands.
The perpetrators tricked the German sales company into paying an advance of EUR 2.4 million to accounts in other European countries. On the day of the planned delivery in the Netherlands, it became clear that the German sales company had become the victim of fraud. The German Desk actively supported the investigations, ensuring judicial cooperation with three countries. The extremely rapid response and highly professional help from all Desks involved made it possible to arrest two suspects in the Netherlands the next day and freeze over EUR 2 million in assets.
This criminal offence was committed in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis when all national authorities were running on limited working capacity. Without Eurojust’s support, this successful outcome would presumably not have been possible – especially under these extreme circumstances.
Which of the services and tools available through Eurojust do you consider most important for national judicial authorities – and why?
In our view, the most important tool Eurojust can provide for our national authorities is the organisation of coordination meetings. These meetings clearly show what a difference it makes when prosecutors and police officers from different countries have the opportunity to meet in person, rather than limiting their contact to written requests for mutual legal assistance. Our experience is that cooperation is better, quicker and less complicated following these meetings. The personal aspect seems to give an extra incentive for all responsible colleagues in the different Member States to do their very best. Because Eurojust financially supports these coordination meetings, they make it easier for colleagues from Member States where the judicial systems have less financing to work together. In one German-Lithuanian and German-Dutch case, the German colleagues even organised a joint ‘closing party’ for all German, Lithuanian and Dutch colleagues involved to show the appreciation for the part they played in successfully completing the investigation.
Contact the German Desk
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