|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.7, No.7, 22.2.01, p7|
THE EU's fight against organised international crime will take a key step forward next week when its much-heralded office of prosecutors, Eurojust, opens for business. The group, made up of senior prosecutors from each member state, holds its first meeting on Thursday (March 1) in the Council of Ministers' building in Brussels.
The 15 crime-busters, permanently based in the Belgian capital, will meet two or three times a week to discuss cases of serious cross-border crime and coordinate the work of judicial investigators in different countries.
Eurojust is the centrepiece of the Union's crackdown on organised crime, which was launched at the Tampere justice summit in October 1999. Member states hope that the first incarnation of Eurojust will develop into a meatier body, possibly with its own premises and the power to instigate and lead its own investigations.
Swede Björn Blomqvist, president of Eurojust until July, says his experience as a financial fraud prosecutor has convinced him even the preliminary version of the organisation will prove invaluable. "When I was working in Sweden I really longed for this type of coordination centre," he said. "I would know that there was some kind of Portuguese or British link in an investigation but to actually find out who to talk to and actually conduct a case together was extremely hard."
Belgium has said that agreement on the full version of Eurojust will be a priority of its presidency in the second half of this year.
The EU's fight against organised international crime will take a key step forward at the beginning of March when its much-heralded office of prosecutors, Eurojust, opens for business.
|Subject Categories||Justice and Home Affairs|