EU representatives have agreed to establish a judicial counterterrorism register, centralising data on judicial proceedings across all Member States.
The register was proposed to Member States’ representatives for terrorism at the annual meeting on counterterrorism held by Eurojust, the EU’s judicial co-operation unit. Eurojust President Ladislav Hamran said: “To respond to the persistent terrorist threat that concerns the whole of the European territory, strong cooperation between judicial authorities within the European Union and beyond is required. For Eurojust, the register is the first step in a broader endeavour to create tools that will lead to a fast, reliable and secure IT infrastructure called Digital Criminal Justice, which was first presented to the JHA Council in December last year. To face the new challenges posed by technological development and the evolving security threat landscape, prosecutors in the Member States need tools to interact efficiently with their counterparts, as well as with Eurojust.”
The proposed judicial counterterrorism register was approved by Member State delegates and the European Parliament’s Special Committee on Terrorism, with additional support from the European Commission and the EU’s Counterterrorism Co-ordinator. By collating and streamlining information concerning counterterrorism proceedings, Member States will be able to co-ordinate action on terrorism more effectively and enact more effective judicial responses.
National Member for France and Head of Eurojust’s Counterterrorism Team Frédéric Baab said: “After the terrorist attacks of 13 November 2014, the French Desk at Eurojust opened a case involving 14 Member States and the USA. In such a case, in which multilateral coordination is needed at EU level, a complete overview of all ongoing investigations in the countries involved is indispensable. For this reason, we worked on the implementation of a counterterrorism register at Eurojust, which will centralise and cross-check this information and give feedback to the national authorities.”
Nathalie Griesbeck, Chair of the Special Committee on Terrorism of the European Parliament, said: “Eurojust is a key actor in the reinforcement of our area of Justice and Security. As Chair of the special committee on terrorism, I am very happy to witness the progress made toward the creation of the European judicial counterterrorism register. This concrete tool, which the European Parliament strongly supports, will foster the exchange of information and therefore help to make crucial links that could prevent attacks.”
The judicial counterterrorism register will begin implementation on 1 September 2019.