Judicial cooperation in criminal matters: Provisional Judicial Cooperation Unit
To improve cooperation and coordination between Member States with regard to investigations and prosecutions relating to serious crime, particularly organised crime.
Council Decision of 14 December 2000 setting up a Provisional Judicial Cooperation Unit [Official Journal L 324 of 21.12.2000].
As the Tampere European Council pointed out, closer cooperation in the fight against organised crime, to which Articles 29 and 31 of the Treaty on European Union refer, calls for the adoption of measures at Union level in order to facilitate the coordination of investigations and prosecutions relating to serious crime.
By establishing a provisional coordination formation known as the Provisional Judicial Cooperation Unit, the Council decision represents a major step towards that goal.
The Provisional Unit has two main objectives:
- to improve cooperation between the competent authorities of the Member States with regard to investigations and prosecutions in relation to serious crime, in particular when it is organised;
- to stimulate and improve the coordination of investigations and prosecutions in the Member States, taking into account any request or information communicated under provisions adopted within the framework of the Treaties.
It will also lend its support to the Council and the Member States as part of the negotiations on the setting-up of the Eurojust judicial cooperation unit.
The Unit consists of prosecutor, a judge or police officer of equivalent competence from each Member State who are responsible for performing the liaison and coordination duties necessary to accomplish the objectives of the Provisional Unit.
Members of the Unit may organise missions in a Member State whose authorities are involved in an investigation, and may meet in any other place.
They facilitate coordination and cooperation between national authorities, in particular where coordination can contribute to consideration of the arrangements for the opening and development of investigations and prosecutions. Wherever possible, they provide support for the coordination and operation of joint investigative teams.
The Provisional Judicial Cooperation Unit ceased to exist from the date of publication in the Official Journal of the Council Decision establishing Eurojust.