Friday

20th Oct 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 for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  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."

EU gives thumbs up to US data pact

Commission gives 'thumbs-up' to controversial Privacy Shield deal with US on data sharing after a year's operation - but notes room for improvement.

Investigation

EU states copy Israel's 'predictive policing'

Israelis are using social profiling and predictive policing, also known as 'Facebook arrests', to crack down on suspects in Palestinian territories. National authorities in the EU, including the EU's police agency, Europol, are now applying the tactics closer to home.

News in Brief

  1. Dutch PM: Brexit is 'still a bad idea'
  2. Commission to issue proposal on civil protection
  3. Tusk: 'No space' for EU intervention in Catalonia
  4. Austrian PM calls Brexit talks speed 'big disappointment'
  5. PM Muscat: journalist murder 'left a mark' on Malta
  6. Belgian PM: No crisis with Spain over Catalan remarks
  7. Ireland PM: Further Brexit concessions needed from UK
  8. Merkel: rule of law in Turkey going 'in wrong direction'

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressEJC Applauds the Bulgarian Government for Adopting the Working Definition of Antisemitism
  2. EU2017EENorth Korea Leaves Europe No Choice, Says Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser
  3. Mission of China to the EUZhang Ming Appointed New Ambassador of the Mission of China to the EU
  4. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Should Seek Concrete Commitments From Azerbaijan at Human Rights Dialogue
  5. European Jewish CongressEJC Calls for New Austrian Government to Exclude Extremist Freedom Party
  6. CES - Silicones EuropeIn Healthcare, Silicones Are the Frontrunner. And That's a Good Thing!
  7. EU2017EEEuropean Space Week 2017 in Tallinn from November 3-9. Register Now!
  8. European Entrepreneurs CEA-PMEMobiliseSME Exchange Programme Open Doors for 400 Companies Across Europe
  9. CECEE-Privacy Regulation – Hands off M2M Communication!
  10. ILGA-EuropeHealth4LGBTI: Reducing Health Inequalities Experienced by LGBTI People
  11. EU2017EEEHealth: A Tool for More Equal Health
  12. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism a Key Driver for Job Creation and Enhanced Competitiveness

Latest News

  1. EU seeks to shut down sea route from Libya
  2. Digital debate will be first test of Tusk's new policy crowbar
  3. EU Parliament: EU migrant quotas do have a future
  4. EU countries praise Tusk's new summit plans
  5. Commission employs double standards in Spain
  6. Legal study sounds alarm on 'Baysanto' merger
  7. Health MEPs want to phase out glyphosate by 2020
  8. Tusk: EU migrant quotas have 'no future'