The EU’s Judicial Cooperation Unit (Eurojust) has signed a new agreement with Georgia to boost the joint fight against organised crime.
The agreement aims to facilitate cross-border collaboration in law enforcement by enabling the swift, efficient exchange of information and evidence between Georgia; Eurojust; and other non-EU countries which participate in a similar cooperation arrangement. From Georgia’s perspective, the judicial cooperation agreement will allow the state to benefit from access to Eurojust’s information systems and the capability of sharing data and evidence in cross-border criminal investigations and prosecutions. Eurojust, meanwhile, will see improvements to its ability to target transnational organised crime groups based out of Georgia.
Ladislav Hamran, President of Eurojust, said: “This cooperation agreement marks a major step forward in our valuable partnership with Georgia. In recent years, our close cooperation has frequently made a tangible difference in the prosecution of serious cross-border crime, strengthening our efforts to bring suspects to justice and better protect our citizens. I am certain that this cooperation agreement will allow us to share even more operational and strategic successes in the future, making this world safer one case at a time.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Georgia will be able to appoint its own Liaison Prosecutor to Eurojust to boost international cooperation and coordination in terms of international law enforcement activities. Georgia is one of the most prolific non-EU members in judicial cooperation; since 2012 it has assisted with 27 cross-border investigations conducted by Eurojust into offences including fraud, organised crime and money laundering.
Georgian Minister of Justice of Thea Tsulukiani said: “Today’s bilateral agreement completes four years of negotiations with Eurojust. In the new framework of our partnership, we will further develop existing legal and institutional mechanisms to improve convergence with EU standards and policies in judicial cooperation in criminal matters. The agreement will strengthen the joint institutional and operational capacity of the European Union and Georgia to successfully deal with trans-border crime and other common challenges.”