France

The French Desk is headed by Baudoin Thouvenot, who is the National Member for France since September 2019.

In 2019, the French Desk was involved in 633 new cases, 137 coordination meetings, 7 coordination centres and 52 joint investigation teams.

 

 

 

National Member

National Member

Baudoin Thouvenot
Baudoin Thouvenot

Baudoin Thouvenot was appointed National Member for France in September 2019. Mr Thouvenot is a career investigative judge. He was 12 years old when he made up his mind about his future professional path and never changed it since then. His first appointment as an investigative judge was with the Court of Dunkirk in 1991, followed by several posts in the jurisdictions of the Court of Paris, where his last appointment was as Dean of the investigative judges of the Court of Paris. During his 15-year tenure as an investigative judge for the Court of Paris, Mr Thouvenot spent 10 years as a judge for the JIRS of Paris (interregional specialised jurisdiction, dealing with organised crime), and started visiting Eurojust at its previous headquarters in Voorburg, the Netherlands. Mr Thouvenot took part in a coordination meeting at Eurojust for the first time in 2003, and came back on several times. He became a convinced ‘client’ of Eurojust over the years, frequently satisfied with what could be achieved in a case after a one-day coordination meeting. For him, ‘Eurojust is a practical and efficient means for judicial cooperation’.

In 2006, he took part in a triptych documentary film project on ‘Judicial Europe’ and suggested using a case he was working on, which involved the trafficking in human beings for sexual purposes, as an example of judicial cooperation in action. Mr Thouvenot was one of the magistrates filmed during the different phases of the case involving five Member States. This first part, ‘Escort’, was released in 2010, and the second part of the documentary project, ‘Marriages for sale’, in 2014. This project’s third film will be released in 2020. The filmmaker, Olivier Ballande, lauded Mr Thouvenot’s involvement, saying that ‘without him, we couldn’t have made these films’.

Mr Thouvenot sees his mandate as French National Member at Eurojust as a logical completion of his career. He is eager to enrich himself with the knowledge of the different judicial systems and firmly believes that when it comes to judicial cooperation there are no ‘small countries’, but rather magistrates fighting crime across borders. He is looking forward to working closely with all his colleagues and promoting a strong European spirit in the College.


Deputy National Member

Éric Figliolia joined Eurojust in February 2020 as Deputy National Member for France. After studying economics and political science in Paris, he began his career as a consultant for Euroconsult. In 2001, he decided to join the National School of Magistrates and became a judge. He was first assigned to the Court of Appeal of Versailles, then as executive judge to the Court of Versailles. In 2010, he became Deputy Prosecutor of the Court of Bobigny for two years before being seconded to the Superior Council of the Judiciary, as Deputy Secretary General of the Council.

From 2014 to 2018, he was Deputy Prosecutor at the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office, dealing with major financial cases. This is when he became a ‘satisfied Eurojust customer’, benefiting from the Agency’s support in a major case. He then returned to the Court of Appeal of Versailles as Counsellor in the Chamber of Investigation, until he joined Eurojust.


Assistants to the National Member

Julie André joined Eurojust in June 2018 as Assistant to the National Member for France. She started her career as a Prosecutor at the High Court of Caen, then Tours, from 2005 to 2012, in Criminal and civil cases. Between 2013 and 2018, Ms André worked for the French Ministry of Justice. She was head of the communication department of judicial services and then Head of the Diplomatic Unit at the General Secretariat, in charge of European and international affairs until 2016.

Ms André then worked as Deputy Director of European and international affairs, dealing with diplomatic matters, European and international cooperation, human rights and international criminal law and comparative law. Additionally, Ms André regularly took part in academics throughout her career, namely as a jury and a lecturer
 

Raphaële Bail studied political science and international relations and started her career working as a journalist for nine years. She was a freelance reporter in Latin America for French and international magazines, mainly covering issues related to political science and human rights. After this enriching experience, she decided to pursue a career as a magistrate, which had been an aspiration since high school, and she successfully applied to the French National School for the Judiciary in 2010.

She started as a prosecutor in the Paris area (organised crime unit), then worked for the Bureau of Criminal and International Negotiation for two years and became its Deputy Chief. She attended a traineeship/study visit at Eurojust in 2017, organised by the National School for the Judiciary, which reinforced the idea that she was destined to work in judicial cooperation, specifically at Eurojust. Her last assignment before she joined the French Desk was as an investigative judge at the Court of Bobigny, where she was able to fully benefit from Eurojust’s support in one of her cases.

Ms Bail, who is a committed European, is fluent in English and Spanish, and has knowledge of Portuguese and German. She believes that ‘among all the EU agencies and bodies, Eurojust is THE one that works efficiently’.


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Interview with National Member Baudoin Thouvenot

What strikes you most about working at Eurojust?

I am impressed by the quality of cooperation among the different National Desk members on cases. We manage to work together, despite the differences in our cultural and legal systems, and find the best practical and judicial solutions to support our respective authorities.

Could you describe a case that you have supported and which had a particularly successful outcome?

For a major case of fraud, we organised an action day and coordination centre on 9 January 2020 at Eurojust, involving seven countries and two French jurisdictions. The ability between Eurojust colleagues to react quickly and efficiently to the needs of the authorities in the field was impressive. The outcome of the operation was particularly successful as the organised crime group’s actions and crime proceeds were evaluated to be worth several billion euros. On a more personal level, I found myself in a position, as a National Member, to issue an European Investigation Order, in agreement with the investigative judge in charge of the case (who was involved in one of the field operations), as it is in my power as stated in the French Penal Proceeding Code.

Which of the services and tools available through Eurojust do you consider most important for national judicial authorities – and why?

Coordination meetings and coordination centres (the latter being a French concept developed by Nicolas Chareyre, previous Deputy National Member of the French Desk) allow us to sit at the table and discuss how to cooperate in a case and always find the best solution, or at least a solution that is suitable for all parties, in a timely manner but also in cases of emergency. The service of the interpreters that Eurojust offers during the coordination meetings is absolutely crucial for the discussion process to succeed. I also believe that the excellent relationships the Desk members are able to build by being together in the Eurojust building, in a respectful and kind atmosphere, is an invaluable asset in the support Eurojust provides to national authorities.

Contact the French Desk

Casework

New cases
2017: 130 (initiating) + 270 (participating)
2018: 219 (initiating) + 344 (participating)
2019: 238 (initiating) + 395 (participating)

Coordination meetings (initiating and/or participating)
2017: 61
2018: 87
2019: 137

Coordination centres (initiating and/or participating)
2017: 5
2018: 2
2019: 7

Joint investigation teams (initiating and/or participating)
2017: 17
2018: 37
2019: 52


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Case examples

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