Sunday

23rd Jul 2017

Brussels seeks more powers for EU crime body

The European Commission wants to strengthen Eurojust, the bloc's judicial body, giving it more powers to fight cross-border crime. It has also indicated that the idea of having a single European prosecutor should be picked up.

"Eurojust should be made stronger," EU justice commissioner Franco Frattini said on Tuesday (17 April), adding that in autumn he would present his vision on ways in which to improve the five-year old body's legal structure.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Currently, the Hague-based network of national prosecutors and judges serves as a helping hand to member states when dealing with serious cross-border crime.

Mr Frattini indicated that the commission's paper would suggest harmonisation of responsibilities of member states' representatives to Eurojust – at the moment they vary widely.

In addition, he wants to harmonise member states' powers, particularly, to improve the quality and information handed over from EU capitals to The Hague.

"The communication's message [to member states] will be - make better use of joint investigation teams and make Eurojust involved," Mr Frattini said.

Currently, Eurojust's team is highly dependent on the EU capitals' goodwill to cooperate.

The commissioner's words were immediately echoed by Eurojust president Michael Kennedy, saying "member states should be referring more cases to us."

This year, Eurojust expects to deal with up to 1,000 criminal cases, as it annually experiences an estimated 30 percent increase in the number of reported cross-border incidents. The cases often include trafficking in arms, drugs and human beings, counterfeiting and child pornography.

According to one Eurojust official, Brussels' attempt to strengthen the judicial body mirrors the ambitions set out in the European constitution, which was rejected in 2005 by France and the Netherlands. The treaty, likely to be revived in some form by the end of this year, sees Eurojust as the key-stone for a single European prosecution office.

Mr Frattini himself said he wanted to find out what the member states' mood for having a European prosecutor was. "It is an idea that needs to be explored", he said.

It is assumed that the European prosecutor would – similar to the US federal prosecutor – have powers to initiate and proceed with the investigation of a case.

But the idea is likely to meet national resistance, with one diplomat telling EUobserver "the problem is that we [the EU] don't have common definitions of crimes, nor do we recognise anything like a federal crime."

Polish parliament steps up showdown with EU

Lawmakers in Poland adopted a controversial reform of the Supreme Court, despite warnings from the EU that the move could trigger a sanction procedure over the rule of law.

Investigation

Mafia money pollutes the EU economy

Huge amounts of money from criminal activities are funnelled into the legitimate European economy. But little is being done about it at EU or national level.

Investigation

Free movement of organised crime in Europe

The mafia is often seen as being a traditionally Italian concern, but evidence shows that it might be much closer to home than many Europeans think.

Investigation

Mafia money pollutes the EU economy

Huge amounts of money from criminal activities are funnelled into the legitimate European economy. But little is being done about it at EU or national level.

News in Brief

  1. Polish parliament adopts controversial justice reform
  2. GMO opt-out plan unlikely to go anywhere in 2017
  3. Slovak PM threatens to boycott inferior food
  4. France takes Google's 'right to be forgotten' to EU court
  5. Turkey accuses German companies of supporting terror
  6. Israel's Netanyahu caught calling EU 'crazy'
  7. UK does not collect enough data to expel EU nationals
  8. Polish president threatens to veto justice reform

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  2. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  3. ECPAFood waste in the field can double without crop protection. #WithOrWithout #pesticides
  4. EU2017EEEstonia Allocates €1 Million to Alleviate Migratory Pressure From Libya in Italy
  5. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen's Message on the Anniversary of the Coup Attempt in Turkey
  6. Martens CentreWeeding out Fake News: An Approach to Social Media Regulation
  7. European Jewish CongressEJC Concerned by Normalisation of Antisemitic Tropes in Hungary
  8. Counter BalanceOut for Summer Episode 1: How the EIB Sweeps a Development Fiasco Under the Rug
  9. CESICESI to Participate in Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee on Postal Services
  10. ILGA-EuropeMalta Keeps on Rocking: Marriage Equality on Its Way
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaEuFoA Director and MEPs Comment on the Recent Conflict Escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh
  12. EU2017EEEstonian Presidency Kicks off Youth Programme With Coding Summer School

Latest News

  1. Dutch coalition talks lengthiest in 40 years
  2. Polish parliament steps up showdown with EU
  3. EU urges UK to clarify its Brexit positions
  4. Law expert: direct EU powers have become too complicated
  5. Winter is here for Spitzenkandidat, but he'll survive
  6. Mafia money pollutes the EU economy
  7. Central Europe should be wary of Brexit stopping
  8. Poland's 'July coup' and what it means for the judiciary