28.10.2019 - - EJN
11th National Correspondents meeting of the European Judicial Network

On the 16th of October 2019, the 11th National Correspondents meeting of the European Judicial Network (EJN) took place in The Hague under the Finnish Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The Finnish Presidency, chair of the meeting, welcomed the participants and presented the main topics for the upcoming 53rd Plenary meeting of the EJN that will take place in Helsinki on 21-22 November. In this Plenary meeting, the EJN will discuss the gathering of electronic evidence.

The Secretary to the EJN highlighted the following from the EJN priority list of the second semester 2019:

  • Organisation of the EJN Plenary meetings;
  • Practical application of the EU mutual recognition instruments;
  • Cooperation between the EJN and the EPPO;
  • European Investigation Order (EIO) – joint Eurojust & EJN Note on the practical application of the EIO;
  • EJN Secure Connection (secure email for EJN contact points) – almost available, currently waiting on technical developments;
  • Cooperation with Eurojust – emphasis on cross-checking of cases to ensure that they are correctly assigned to either the EJN or Eurojust;
  • 5th Report of the Activities and Management of the EJN 2017/2018: printing and distribution underway;
  • E-evidence.

The EJN Secretariat informed about the activities of 2019, with specific reference to the EJN meetings, the functioning of the EJN contact points and the website projects. This year’s language training was highlighted as a success with topics such as the EAW, Brexit, the Surrender Agreement 2006 between the EU and Iceland and Norway and a project conducted by the Netherlands on the implementation of Art.4(6) of FD 2002/584 (EAW), being discussed.

Specific activities of the EJN Work Programme 2020 mentioned: the 5 EJN ordinary meetings, the working group on e-evidence, a peer evaluation of the EJN, follow-up on the EAW and EIO in response to recent and coming CJEU judgments, meetings with other judicial networks and the SIRIUS and EuroMed projects. The plans for the website were presented, including a sneak preview of an update of the EJN homepage. The National Correspondents were informed about the primary reasons why changes to the website are needed; security standards, outdated technical solutions, the needs of practitioners and the website survey, which took place this year.

Furthermore, the arrangements for the organisation of the EJN Plenary meetings were reported. The funding from the EJN budget for such meetings has been reduced to €35,000 from 2020 onwards. It was emphasised that the organisation of the Plenary meetings will be the responsibility of each Presidency and that there will be only a limited support from the EJN Secretariat and the Events & Logistics Unit at Eurojust.

A representative from the Commission presented the new Digital Exchange System, soon to be introduced in the Member States. This system will allow prosecutors to send a European Investigation Order (EIO) in a secure manner. The content of the system’s database will be supported with information obtained from the EJN website (the Judicial Atlas).

The Finnish Presidency brought the meeting to a close by thanking everyone for their participation and welcoming them to the 53rd Plenary meeting of the EJN in Helsinki in November 2019.

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