In light of the upcoming 20 years jubilee of Eurojust, the French Ministry of Justice today organised a high-level conference on cross-border criminal justice cooperation. The event focused on the role the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) plays in countering terrorism and how to guarantee a good balance between its effectiveness and fundamental rights. Furthermore, the cooperation between Eurojust and the new European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) was highlighted.
The '20 years of progress in criminal justice cooperation within the European Union' event was opened by the French Minister of Justice, Mr Eric Dupond-Moretti, together with the European Commissioner for Justice, Mr Didier Reynders, and Mr Juan Fernando Lopéz Aguilar, chair of the Committee for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs of the European Parliament. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the event took place in an online format. France currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The opening statements were also made by Mr Pavel Blažek and Ms Morgan Johannson, the Justice Ministers of the Czech Republic and Sweden, which will hold the forthcoming presidencies, as well as Eurojust President Mr Ladislav Hamran.
During the first session of the conference, French and Belgian prosecutors specialised in counterterrorism debated the use of the EAW since its introduction in 2004. Particular focus was placed on the role of Eurojust, with reference made to the Judicial Counter-Terrorism Register, which was set up by the Agency in 2019.
With regard to the EAW, a second debate session paid particular attention to the importance of the fundamental rights of suspects. High-level representatives from the Court of Justice, the European Bar Association and legal experts discussed how to maintain a good balance between maintaining guarantees for fundamental rights and ensuring the continued effectiveness of the warrant.
The cooperation between Eurojust and the EPPO was debated during the final session of the event, with the participation of the Finnish European Prosecutor, a high-level representative of the European Commission and National Members at Eurojust as well as the Head of the Agency’s Operations Department.