|Publication Date||January 2012|
This is the tenth annual report of the European Union’s judicial cooperation unit. 2011 saw Eurojust’s core business of helping the operational fight against serious cross-border crime develop significantly. There was only a small increase in the number of cases which Member States referred to Eurojust compared to 2010, but there was a marked increase in Eurojust’s coordination activity.
Coordination meetings bring together Eurojust’s experts with their counterparts in Member States and in European Union bodies. The meetings facilitate efficient decision-taking about when, where and how law enforcement and judicial action against organised crime groups in cross-border cases should take place. The usefulness of these operational meetings to practitioners in Member States was evidenced by a 40 % increase in their number in 2011. At the same time, this increase is a sobering reminder that the threat from cross-border crime has not diminished. For the first time, these meetings dealt with the coordination of more than 200 cases.
2011 also saw a significant development of the coordination meeting. This was the introduction of the coordination centre. Once operational activity in Member States for a specific day has been decided at a coordination meeting, Eurojust’s experts are now available in a secure coordination centre to advise their Member State and EU colleagues. As the day of action unfolds they can assist with questions such as admissibility of evidence in different jurisdictions, and the drafting of European Arrest Warrants and other judicial assistance requests. Eurojust operated seven coordination centres in 2011, dealing with crimes ranging from trafficking in human beings, trafficking in drugs to major fraud. This has been accomplished against a background where many Member States have still to implement the provisions of the revised Eurojust Decision.
Another important aspect of Eurojust’s coordination work in 2011 was with Joint Investigation Teams (JITs). Initially seen as bureaucratic, JITs are now accepted as a useful tool in the fight against cross-border crime. They provide a framework in which practitioners from different jurisdictions can work together without the difficulties and delays associated with traditional forms of mutual legal assistance. In 2011 Eurojust became home to the JITs Network Secretariat. During the year, Eurojust’s prosecutors, judges and police officers participated in about 30 teams.
|Subject Categories||Justice and Home Affairs, Politics and International Relations|