- Elgar European Law series
Chapter 2: The Institutional Framework of EU Criminal Law and Justice
2. The institutional framework of EU criminal law and justice This chapter explores the current ‘institutional framework’ of EU police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, understood in its widest sense. As such it begins with a discussion of the role of the formal EU institutions, followed by the various bodies and networks in the ﬁelds of judicial cooperation and police cooperation, respectively. Most prominently, the increasingly important European agencies of Eurojust and Europol will be examined in some detail. An eﬀort is made to refer to the wide range of other actors that have emerged in this ﬁeld, some of which have a clear basis in EU law (e.g. European Judicial Network, Liaison Magistrates, European Crime Prevention Network) and others of which do not (e.g. European Judicial Training Network and the European Police Chiefs Task Force); however, we make no claims to having been exhaustive.1 The proliferation of semi-autonomous special agencies and bodies in the ﬁeld of justice and home aﬀairs has been described as a ‘special characteristic’ of its governance, illustrating the ‘dynamism of this ﬁeld of cooperation’.2 Given the diversity of actors and networks at play, a key challenge is to ensure that the objectives of each individual entity remains pertinent to achieving the collective goal and that the relations and synergies between them are clear and eﬀective. Where appropriate, and where not dealt with elsewhere in the book, Reform Treaty boxes will be inserted to highlight institutional amendments and developments. THE EU INSTITUTIONS...
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