Magazine article Europe-East

Justice and Home Affairs: European Judicial Network Seeks to Raise Profile

Magazine article Europe-East

Justice and Home Affairs: European Judicial Network Seeks to Raise Profile

Article excerpt

Raising awareness.

The evaluation, which covers the period 2002-2004, was carried out by the former Dutch EU presidency on the basis of contributions received from the 25 EU member states plus Romania, Turkey, Iceland and Switzerland. The EJN is specifically tailored to promote bilateral judicial co-operation between member states, in contrast to the EU's Unit of Prosecutors Eurojust, which is more useful for handling multilateral cases. But the network is "still too little known", the report says. Plans to remedy the situation include improving its website, publishing a brochure on its role and publicising it by word-of-mouth.

Single contact point.

The report recommends that each member state should have a single contact point - currently there are 250 contacts points EU-wide, including 34 in France, 26 in Italy and 16 in Germany. This only complicates matters, the report says, as different advice can be given by contact points in the same member state. The language skills and availability of contact points should be improved too, it adds. Special attention should be paid to relations with Europol and Eurojust to ensure there is no overlap with their work, it says. One possibility floated is to put the network on a more formal legal footing to enable it participate more in joint projects and clarify its budgetary procedure. A decision on this, which would have to be taken at EU Ministerial level, is unlikely in the short term. …

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