The European Council Presidency and European Parliament representatives reached a provisional agreement on a regulation aimed at improving the exchange of digital information in terrorism cases. The text agreed upon is subject to approval by the European Council and Parliament before going through the formal adoption procedure.
This draft regulation would be part of the ongoing work to modernise and digitise cross-border judicial cooperation.
These days, terrorism knows no borders; networks are built and attacks can be prepared and perpetrated within the territories of the European Union. Therefore, in order to be able to deal with it, the European judicial authorities must also have a cross-border strategy.
The agreed new system should allow better checking of information and ensure that any links are detected, regardless of where a terrorist crime has been committed in the EU.
Currently, member states share information with Eurojust on terrorism-related cases through various channels. This information is then included in the European judicial register for the fight against terrorism, a system that is currently technically obsolete as it does not allow for proper cross-checking of information.
The proposal aims to amend these shortcomings and enable Eurojust to play a more proactive and conclusive role in supporting coordination and cooperation between national authorities that investigate and prosecute terrorist offences.
Under the proposed rules, member states will have to provide Eurojust with information on any criminal investigations related to terrorist offences as soon as these cases are transferred to the judicial authorities.
According to the agreed proposal, this would entail:
- Creating a modern, digital case management system that stores this information and allows it to be cross-checked.
- Empowering Eurojust to better detect links between transnational investigations and prosecutions in the field of terrorism and to proactively inform Member States of links found.
- Creating a secure digital communication channel between Member States and Eurojust.
- Simplifying cooperation with third countries by granting liaison prosecutors attached to Eurojust access to the case management system.