On 22 February 2017, the 38th Regular meeting of the EJN Contact Points took place in The Hague.
This meeting was organised under the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union and was chaired by Ms Ann-Marie CUTAJAR, Prosecutor at the Office of the Attorney General of Malta.
The meeting started with a presentation by Ms CUTAJAR of the priorities of the Maltese Presidency and especially of the topics of the 48th plenary meeting to be held in La Valletta on 28-30 June 2017. These topics would be the Directive 2014/41/EU on the European Investigation Order in criminal matters (“EIO Directive”), the gathering of e-evidence and the fourth EU Directive on anti-money laundering.
The first part of the meeting was dedicated to the discussion on the way forward of the cooperation between the EJN website and the European e-Justice Portal, with presentation of the Commission’s views in this regards and feedback from the EJN side. Representatives of the General Secretariat of the meeting were also present at the discussion of this point on the agenda.
The morning session continued with contributions of Contact Points from Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Poland and Sweden on recent developments in these Member States in the area of international judicial cooperation in criminal matters.
As the deadline for transposition of the EIO Directive is approaching (22 May 2017), one of the core topics was a discussion on the legal and practical consequences of the entry into force of this directive. The discussion was based on a supporting document prepared by the EJN Secretariat and was moderated by Mr Ola LÖFGREN, Secretary to the EJN, who presented the current status of the transposition process and highlighted certain implications of eventual delay in transposition by the 26 Member States bound by this directive.
The meeting continued in the afternoon session with a presentation by Ms Maria João ALMEIDA GOMES, EJN Secretariat Coordinator, and by Ms Ianina Gabriela LIPARA, Legal Specialist, of the EJN Work Programme for 2017, with a focus on the planned activities, the EJN regional and national meetings to be organised in the Member States with funding provided through grants awarded from the EJN budget, as well as on the language training to take place in April 2017.
Then, Ms LIPARA and Mr Florin-Răzvan RADU, Seconded National Expert to the EJN Secretariat, presented the latest developments regarding the EJN website, including the reorganisation of the Judicial Library and the methodology to update the tools once the EIO Directive is transposed into the national legislations of the Member States.
The need for raising awareness on the EJN was another important point of the agenda. The discussions were based on a supporting document prepared by the EJN Secretariat, with the aim of creating a Policy on this matter.
Finally, Mr RADU presented the state of play of the drafting of the fourth Report on activities and management of the European Judicial Network, covering the years 2015-2016, underlining the input needed from the EJN Contact Points. The EJN Secretariat used this occasion to recall the implementation on a new online reporting tool, which shall be used by the Contact Points to report their activities in this capacity as of 1st of January 2017.
The EJN Contact Points may consult the EJN Registry for agenda, participants and other relevant documents (restricted access).
Once a year (February or March), the EJN plenary meeting is held at the premises of Eurojust in The Hague, the so called Regular meeting. Two EJN Contact Points are invited to the Regular meeting.
The Regular meeting has a different objective and role in comparison to the other two plenary meetings organised in the Member States. The Regular meetings are devoted to practical and organisational matters of the EJN or new initiatives on judicial cooperation. Its’ particular content is decided by the Member State holding the Presidency of the Council in close cooperation with the EJN Secretariat, the Council Secretariat and the European Commission. The Regular meeting is normally restricted to the EJN Contact Points only, but depending on the topic, other participants can be invited.