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New rules to clarify the role of Eurojust and improve its effectiveness were informally agreed by Parliament and Council negotiators on Tuesday.

Eurojust, the EU’s judicial cooperation unit, facilitates cross-border investigations and prosecutions of serious crimes in the EU. The agreed changes in the Agency’s structure, field of action and operation, including a new governance model, will enhance Eurojust's efficiency in tackling cross-border crime.

 

Furthermore, European Parliament and national parliaments will in future be more involved in the evaluation of Eurojust's activities.

 

Relations with the European Public Prosecutor’s Office

 

Parliament and Council negotiators also agreed on the future relationship between Eurojust and European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), expected to be operational between 2020 and 2021.

 

The European Public Prosecutor’s Office will be in charge of investigating and prosecuting perpetrators of offences against the EU budget in 20 Member States participating in the enhanced cooperation. Eurojust remains competent to support Member States which do not participate in the cooperation through EPPO in all cases regarding offences affecting the financial interest of the EU.

 

The work of Eurojust and EPPO will be based on mutual cooperation within their respective mandates. The practical details on the two bodies’ competences will be regulated by a working arrangement between them.

 

Quote

 

European Parliament rapporteur Axel Voss (EPP, DE) said: “Eurojust is a crucial element in our fight against organised crime and terrorism. With today’s successful conclusion of the trilogue negotiations we make the agency future-proof and ensure that it can continue its outstanding work of coordinating and strengthening the judicial cooperation among Member States."

 

Next steps

 

The agreed text now needs to be formally approved by the Civil Liberties Committee, Parliament as a whole and the Council before entering into force.

 

Background

 

The European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (Eurojust) was set up in 2002 to reinforce the fight against serious organised crime in the European Union. The Agency improves the coordination and cooperation in investigations and prosecutions between the competent authorities in the Member States. It deals with serious cross-border and organised crime such as terrorism, human trafficking, drugs and arms, sexual exploitation of women and children, cybercrime and online child abuse.