How is the programme designed to deliver results?


A working European area of Justice and effective national justice systems are necessary for a flourishing internal market and for upholding the common values of the EU. Promoting EU values also means protecting them and ensuring an environment respectful of the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, with mutual recognition and mutual trust among member States.

In this context, several challenges persist. Judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters is insufficient and access to justice across Member States remains difficult. Tools for collecting comparative information about the quality, independence and efficiency of Member States’ justice systems need to be improved. A major obstacle to mutual recognition and judicial cooperation is a lack of trust in other Member States’ judicial systems. There is a need to simplify and digitalise communications, access to procedures and legal information, and connection to and between national systems. The level of knowledge of EU acquis and EU instruments needs to be improved across the EU. However, national training providers tend to invest their scarce resources in trainings on national law rather than on EU law and in national training activities rather than cross-border ones. In economic crises, persisting inequalities and challenges (e.g., migration) test the fundamental rights and the EU fundamental values, including the rule of law, access to justice, space for civil society, and the independence of the judiciary.

These challenges are common to all Member States and have cross-border dimensions. While action at national level is important, it is only through EU‑level initiatives that inefficiencies, e.g. insufficient judicial cooperation and incomplete implementation of EU law, can best be tackled.


JUSTICE will support the further development of an EU area of Justice based on EU’s values, the rule of law, and mutual recognition and trust. It will facilitate access to justice and promote judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters, and the effectiveness of national justice systems.


JUSTICE’s specific objectives are to:

  1. Facilitate and support judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters, and promote the rule of law, independence and impartiality of the judiciary, including by supporting the efforts to improve the effectiveness of national justice systems, and the effective enforcement of decisions;
  2. Support and promote judicial training, with a view to fostering a common legal, judicial and rule of law culture, as well as the consistent and effective implementation of relevant EU legal instruments.
  3. Facilitate effective and non-discriminatory access to justice, and effective redress, including by electronic means (e-justice), by promoting efficient civil and criminal procedures and by promoting and supporting the rights of all victims of crime, as well as the procedural rights of suspects and accused persons in criminal proceedings.


  • EUR 299.0 millionTotal financial programming 2021-2027
2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027
46.4 43.6 42.2 41.8 41.8 41.7 41.4

In EUR million.


JUSTICE supports mainly activities for the judiciary and judicial staff, by their representative bodies, public authorities and training bodies. It is also open to academic/research institutes and Civil Society Organisations that contribute to the development of a European area of Justice. It funds activities improving mutual trust,  cooperation (including by means of information and communication technology), and knowledge of EU law, judicial cooperation instruments, the relevant case-law of the EU Court of Justice and of comparative law (notably through supporting the  European Judicial Training Network) and understanding of the civil and criminal law and the legal and judicial systems of the Member States as well as of potential obstacles to the smooth functioning of a EU area of justice;. The programme also supports relevant civil society organisations and non-profits that ensure adequate access to their services, counselling and support activities to all citizens.

Delivery mode

The programme will be implemented through direct management by the Commission, under the lead of Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers (DG JUST).

Performance framework: more information

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Where are we in the implementation?

You will find information on the programme implementation in this webpage.

It will be updated when the programme will have started on an annual basis alongside the publication of the draft budget and the discharge.

Next publication (estimation): June 2022.

Predecessor programmes 2014-2020

Justice builds on the homologue programme in the 2014-2020 MFF, whilst reinforcing efforts to promote the rule of law.

2014-2020 Justice Programme

  • EUR 338.7 millionBudget allocation 2014-2020

Overall execution (2014-2020)

  Total %
Commitments EUR 337.5 million
Payments EUR 241.9 million

This graph includes implementation based on voted budget appropriations and carried-over appropriations.


Key monitoring indicators

  Baseline Progress Target Results Assessment
Number of items of exchange information in the European Criminal Records Information System 0.3 m
3.5 m 4.1 million compared to a target of 3.5 million On track
Judiciary/judicial staff training  
16 000 10 799 compared to a target of 16 000 Moderate progress
Hits on the e-Justice Portal 40 000
4.6 m 4.6 million out of 4.6 million On track
New psychoactive substances assessed  
95 68 out of 95 On track
% of target achieved by the end of 2020



Concrete examples of achievements

  • 4.1 millionexchanges of information were recorded in the European Criminal Records Information System in 2020.
  • 10 799justice professionals were trained in 2019 through the justice programme’s financial support to cross-border training activities and to the European Judicial Training Network.
  • 4.6 millionhits were recorded on the e-Justice Portal / pages addressing the need for information on cross-border civil and criminal cases.
  • 27victim support organisations with national coverage were established.

Programme Performance Overview

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