Belgian MEP visits Eurojust
Mr Philippe De Backer, an MEP from Belgium’s Open Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten Party, visited Eurojust on 8 January on a fact-finding mission. Accompanying Mr De Backer were Ms Lotte Van der Stockt and Mr Benjamin Baelus, Assistants to Mr De Backer.
The purpose of today’s visit was to gain an understanding of the general functioning of Eurojust and cooperation at EU level, to discuss the role the European Parliament can play, and to discuss the issue of terrorism and de-radicalisation.
Mr De Backer’s delegation was met by Ms Michèle Coninsx, President of Eurojust, National Member for Belgium and Chair of Eurojust’s Counter-Terrorism Team, who presented current and future developments at Eurojust focusing on the priorities of terrorism, cybercrime and illegal immigrant smuggling.
Mr Francis Cassidy, National Member for Ireland, Chair of the Europol Team and Member of Eurojust’s Financial and Economic Crime Team, and Ms Malči Gabrijelčič, National Member for Slovenia and Chair of the External Relations Team, gave presentations that provided the visitors with a clear insight into Eurojust’s added value.
Eurojust’s work against foreign terrorist fighters
Ms Michèle Coninsx, the President of Eurojust, provided a presentation to students of the College of Europe on 7 January during a special event entitled One Year after Charlie Hebdo: Responding to Terror in Europe. Mr Gilles de Kerchove, the EU’s Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, and Professor Henri Labayle, Professor of Law, Université de Pau et des Pays d’Adour, Director of CDRE (Bayonne) and of the GDR Droit de l’Espace de liberté, sécurité, justice, also spoke at the event, which was chaired by Rector Jörg Monar.
Recent acts of terrorism in Europe have highlighted the need for greater cooperation among Member States. Ms Coninsx demonstrated how Eurojust is learning from and using its experience in counter-terrorism work to respond to the evolving threat, and provided an analysis of the legal and judicial challenges and the need for a European criminal policy towards foreign terrorist fighters.
During her lecture, Ms Coninsx presented an example of a terrorism case that was recently coordinated at Eurojust. This case (Operation JWEB) uncovered terrorist cells in Germany, Switzerland, the UK, Italy, Greece, Sweden, Norway, Iraq, Iran and Syria. Highlighting the ability of Eurojust to coordinate operations across multiple jurisdictions simultaneously, JWEB brought together the authorities of Italy, the UK, Norway, Finland, Germany and Switzerland in an international action day that resulted in the arrest of the suspected leaders of a terrorist organisation.
Following the presentation, the panellists had the opportunity to respond to questions from the audience.
The web stream of the lecture is now available here.
Editor in Chief