Minister Malenica at the informal meeting of justice ministers in Stockholm: Organised crime can only be tackled through cooperation

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Under the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, an informal meeting of justice and home affairs ministers took place on Thursday 26 January and Friday 27 January.

On Friday 27 January, the justice ministers discussed a common European approach in the fight against organised crime in the digital era — “Going dark”, strengthening of judicial cooperation, in particular within Eurojust, and EU’s support in prosecuting war crimes in Ukraine.

On the occasion of the Holocaust Remembrance Day, the ministers commemorated all the victims, with the message that the EU must work together to combat antisemitism.

Swedish Minister of Justice Gunnar Strὄmmer stressed the importance of normative regulation of the collection of digital evidence and strengthening of judicial cooperation in the fight against organised crime through the establishment of new and more effective cooperation instruments. 

Eurojust President Ladislav Hamran stressed the importance of the Agency in safeguarding Europe’s security, stressing that there are three key challenges ahead of the authority: digitalisation, globalisation and prosecution of international crime.

European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders announced the continuation of the dialogue on the legislative framework for e-evidence and the development of a new instrument for the transfer of proceedings. Speaking about the fight against organised crime, he underlined the importance of the EPPO and called on all Member States to support the work of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, which has had good results so far.

Minister Malenica welcomed the discussion on the existing framework of judicial cooperation in the prosecution of organised crime, in particular by regulating the transfer of proceedings.

“There is currently no legal instrument regulating the transfer of prosecution between Member States, hence it is necessary to regulate this issue so that all Member States can prosecute criminal offences effectively. This is important not only for the rule of law and legal certainty, but also for the safety of all our citizens. Eurojust plays a key role in this and Croatia welcomes the instruments which will strengthen it. Organised crime has no borders and it is therefore important to continue the dialogue on a new common approach", said the Minister.

He reiterated Croatia’s support for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people in Russian aggression and the readiness of Croatia to help with its experience both in the prosecution of war crimes committed on Ukrainian territory and in establishing a quality system of support for victims and witnesses of crimes.

The EU justice ministers expressed their full support for the continuation of the dialogue on regulating the key issues of combating organised crime in the digital era, strengthening of judicial cooperation and of the capacity of Eurojust to fight new forms of crime.