Objectives of a common strategy

To combat crime efficiently, the criminal justice authorities of EU countries need to work together. Ultimately, in a common European area of justice national law enforcers and judiciaries will be able to trust and rely on each other.

This will increase people's confidence in the fairness of proceedings, knowing that their rights are protected when they have to appear in court in another country, or if they fall victim to a crime.

Added value of EU rules

Action at EU level in this field is crucial for a number of reasons

  • Serious organised crime is often committed across borders. To prevent 'safe havens' for criminals, EU countries' laws should be more aligned
  • If people can trust that their rights are respected, in all EU countries, if they are suspected or accused of a crime, they are more likely to use their right to live, work or study in another EU country
  • Common rules strengthen mutual trust between the judiciaries of different EU countries. This makes cooperation and mutual recognition of decisions easier across the EU
  • EU criminal law helps to prevent and punish serious offences, for example environmental crime