Eurojust continues to champion the EU’s judicial response to the war in Ukraine, says Agency’s Annual Report 2023

cover page annual report publication

Spearheading the European Union’s judicial response to the war in Ukraine, and digitalising criminal justice, were at the heart of Eurojust’s work in 2023, and will continue to be so, says the Agency’s Annual Report, published today.

2023 saw the launch of Eurojust’s Core International Crimes Evidence Database (CICED) and the International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression Against Ukraine (ICPA). These unique mechanisms support the crucial work of the joint investigation team (JIT) into alleged core international crimes committed in Ukraine, and are game-changers in ensuring accountability for the atrocities of Russia’s war of aggression.

Eurojust’s Digital Criminal Justice Programme, also initiated in 2023, enables faster and closer collaboration between the Agency, Member States, partners and third countries, facilitating justice across borders.

In 2023, the call on Eurojust far exceeded the fight against serious and organised crime, as it continued to take on an important role in the European Union’s judicial response to the war of aggression against Ukraine, stated Věra Jourová, Vice-President of the European Commission and European Commissioner for Values and Transparency. The fight for human values and against lawlessness is one in which we all have a role to play, and I welcome Eurojust’s many efforts in 2023 in turning legislation and policies into practice.

While Eurojust’s work in 2023 continued to have a strong focus on supporting Member States’ and partners’ judicial response to the war in Ukraine, at the same time, the Agency fully delivered on its mandate to fight all serious cross-border crimes, handling more than 13 000 cases. Eurojust’s casework increased by 14% in 2023 compared to 2022.

Operational outcomes detail

The Agency contributed to the arrest of more than 4 200 suspects and the seizure and freezing of criminal assets worth over EUR 1 billion. Eurojust also contributed to the seizure of drugs worth almost EUR 26 billion, which represents more than double the amount it helped seize in 2022.

Reflecting the growing scale of the challenge, the number of victims affected by the cases handled by the Agency in 2023 increased by 12%, as did the number of cases involving organised crime groups. In 2023, Eurojust supported 9% more joint investigation teams than in 2022, illustrating national authorities’ trust in and reliance on the Agency’s services to facilitate judicial cooperation.

Eurojust President, Ladislav Hamran, commented: These figures bear witness to the ever-growing international dimension of organised crime and to the added value Eurojust and its work represent to judicial professionals not just in the European Union, but increasingly in partner countries also.

third country participation eurojust cases 2023

Eurojust’s international cooperation continued to lead to an increasing number of registered cases, with more than 700 cases involving one or more third countries. The United Kingdom was the third country with the highest number of Eurojust cases in 2023 (275), followed by Switzerland, Albania, Serbia and Ukraine.

The Agency’s Contact Points in countries outside the EU also continued to grow, with Chad, Ghana, Togo, The Gambia, Tajikistan, Philippines, Mozambique, Kyrgyzstan and Kuwait joining Eurojust’s 72-strong country network in 2023. Eurojust continued its excellent cooperation with South Partner Countries in the EuroMed Justice Programme, as well as Western Balkan countries in the Western Balkans Criminal Justice Project.

Cases by crime type

The top three crime types handled by the Agency in 2023 were once again swindling and fraud, drug trafficking and money laundering. A significantly higher number of new cases were referred to the Agency in 2023 compared to 2022 in the areas of environmental crime (64%) and cybercrime (43%), although the overall number of cases referred to Eurojust in the former category remains low. Conversely, the number of new cases referred to Eurojust in 2023 concerning trafficking in human beings decreased by 8% compared to 2022.

The Agency continued to serve judicial authorities in Member States by organising 579 international coordination meetings and 22 action days, as well as providing operational support to almost 300 JITs (46% of which were funded by Eurojust). These services, together with assistance in executing judicial cooperation instruments (such as European Arrest Warrants and European Investigation Orders) enabled national judicial authorities to achieve impressive on-the-ground results across key crime areas in 2023.

More information:

Eurojust Annual Report 2023:

Key visuals:

Eurojust’s response to the war in Ukraine:

Justice Done cases in 2023: