German Public Prosecutors General in support of Eurojust
During the meeting of the Working Group Europe of Germany’s Public Prosecutors General at Eurojust’s premises in The Hague, their support and appreciation for Eurojust’s operational support to cross-border investigations was reaffirmed. They stressed the need to safeguard the role of Eurojust for the future. In a resolution of 10 June 2019, the Public Prosecutor Generals expressed their grave concerns that the proposed financial resources for Eurojust in the next EU Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027) are far too limited to meet the growing demand for practical, on-call support to judicial authorities. This situation risks weakening the EU security chain, when other law enforcement agencies are being considerably strengthened.
The Working Group Europe of Germany’s Public Prosecutors General visited Eurojust on 15 and 16 July under the leadership of Dr Frank Lüttig, the Public Prosecutor General of Celle. The Federal Public Prosecutor General, Dr Peter Frank, and the Public Prosecutors General of Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, Cologne, Munich and Naumburg were present.
The delegation met with Mr Ladislav Hamran, President of Eurojust, and Mr Klaus Meyer-Cabri, Vice President of Eurojust and National Member for Germany. Recent developments around e-evidence and the future increase in workload for Eurojust after the European Public Prosecutor’s Office becomes operational were also discussed. The Working Group discussed current issues with the acting Deputy Director General (DG JUST) of the European Commission and the Executive Director of Europol.
‘Eurojust has become a very important partner in our fight against serious cross-border crime’, said Dr Lüttig. ‘In the past four years, the support requested through the German Desk at Eurojust has in fact risen by 350%. With cross-border crime on the rise, we expect that German prosecutors will turn even more often to Eurojust in the future. We want them to be able to count on the swift, useful service they have been getting until now. With the resolution, we also stress the importance of proper funding for the opportunities in the new Eurojust Regulation to deepen judicial cooperation at EU level, including a rapid introduction of an EU-wide Digital Justice infrastructure.’
Mr Meyer-Cabri confirmed that the demand for services from German prosecutors via the German Desk at Eurojust is steadily increasing. ‘By mid-July 2019, we have already reached the number of cases we had registered by September 2018. This represents an increase of 83% compared to last year. Through our 24/7 services and strict focus on the needs of the local prosecutors, the German Desk, and Eurojust as a whole, are ready to help when it really matters.’
The added value of Eurojust to German prosecutors was particularly evident following a landmark judgement by the European Court of Justice of 27 May 2019 on the European Arrest Warrant (EAW). As a result, German public prosecutors remain in charge of preparing the EAWs but German courts have become competent to issue them. Through swift support via Eurojust, approximately 150 EAWs have been urgently replaced, including EAWs for which people were already in custody and EAWs for serious offences. Eurojust has also taken the lead in an analysis of the wider implications of the ruling and quickly complied an overview of the role of prosecutors in all Member States. Eurojust will monitor future developments closely.
‘As Eurojust’s quick analysis of the EAW ruling on Germany clearly shows, we are very well placed to help practitioners find their way in an increasingly complex EU legal environment’, said Mr Hamran. ‘I warmly welcome the outspoken support of the German Prosecutors General concerning our budgetary needs and proper funding for the future. The steady rise in cases referred to us, including from German prosecutors, is for me the best indicator that our pragmatic, decentralised cooperation model, with national representatives united under one roof, works well and needs to be safeguarded. It is agile and fosters considerable trust. We want to continue serving each prosecutor that knocks on our door without no to future requests due to budgetary reasons.’
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