Terrorism cases: new EU law to modernise judicial cooperation
The European Council has approved a new EU law that will boost the digital information exchange in terrorism cases between national authorities and Eurojust.
Thanks to a more efficient exchange on investigations and the prosecution of terrorist offences, member state authorities and EU agencies will all have access to the most complete and updated information on terrorism cases.
The adoption of this law represents a qualitative leap in terms of information sharing between the member states and Eurojust and will allow for significant progress in the prosecution of terrorism offences.
Pilar Llop, Spain’s acting minister for justice
To date, member states share information with Eurojust on cases related to terrorism via different, sometimes unsecure, channels. Furthermore, the current judicial counter-terrorism register does not allow for proper cross-checking of information.
The regulation adopted today will remedy these shortcomings and allow Eurojust to play a stronger role in supporting coordination and cooperation between national authorities investigating and prosecuting terrorist offences.
Better information sharing
Under the new rules, member states will need to provide Eurojust with information on any criminal investigations regarding terrorist offences as soon as such cases are referred to the judicial authorities. The proposal:
- creates a modern, digital case-management system which stores this information and allows it to be cross-checked
- empowers Eurojust to better detect links between transnational investigations and prosecutions in the field of terrorism and to proactively inform member states about the links found
- creates a secure digital communication channel between member states and Eurojust
- simplifies cooperation with third countries by granting liaison prosecutors seconded to Eurojust access to the case-management system
Background and next steps
Eurojust is the EU agency for criminal justice cooperation. It coordinates investigations and prosecutions of serious cross-border crime in Europe and serves as the EU’s hub for judicial cooperation in criminal matters. EU countries are obliged to provide Eurojust with information on prosecutions and convictions for terrorist offences.
The proposal for a regulation was adopted in December 2021, the Council’s position was agreed at the June 2022 Justice and Home Affairs Council. In December 2022, the Council and European Parliament reached agreement on the final text of the regulation.
The regulation will enter into force on the twentieth day following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. It is directly applicable in all EU member states.
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