The European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (Eurojust) has been established to coordinate investigations and prosecutions of serious cross-border crime in Europe and beyond. Combating terrorism has been within the remit of Eurojust’s mandate since its creation in 2002 and remains one of its key priorities.
One of the key elements of Eurojust’s work in this field should be the European Judicial Counter-Terrorism Register (CTR), the prototype of which was launched in September 2019. The objective was to identify potential links between judicial counter-terrorism proceedings and possible coordination needs stemming from these. However, practice has shown that the current legal and technical setup at Eurojust does not support this proactive tool sufficiently.
To improve the functioning of the CTR has been identified as one of the key priorities in European criminal law. The proposal was announced in the Communication on Digitalisation of Justice as well as in the Commission Work Plan for 2021.
On 1 December 2021, the European Commission has adopted several initiatives to digitalise EU justice systems, making them more accessible and effective. The overarching aim of the measures is to make digital communication channels the default channel in cross-border judicial cases, thus translating one of the priorities set out in last year's Communication on Digitalisation of Justice into action.
The proposal aims at improving the information sharing between Member States and Eurojust by setting out the information to be shared more clearly. In addition, the proposal creates the legal and technical conditions for the modernisation of Eurojust’ case management system. Such state-of-the-art infrastructure will enable Eurojust to fulfil its mission comprehensively. As information exchange is one of the most important tools in the fight against cross-border crime, secure digital communication channels will be established between Member States’ competent national authorities and Eurojust to ensure swift and secure exchange of information. Finally, the proposal provides for a clear legal basis for the cooperation with third country liaison prosecutors at Eurojust.
The proposal, which was adopted by the Commission on 1 December 2021, is published here.
Q&A - Digitalisation of cross-border judicial cooperation and access to justice.