Research Handbook on EU Criminal Law
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Research Handbook on EU Criminal Law

Edited by Valsamis Mitsilegas, Maria Bergström and Theodore Konstadinides

EU criminal law is one of the fastest evolving, but also challenging, policy areas and fields of law. This Handbook provides a comprehensive and advanced analysis of EU criminal law as a structurally and constitutionally unique policy area and field of research. With contributions from leading experts, focusing on their respective fields of research, the book is preoccupied with defining cross-border or ‘Euro-crimes’, while allowing Member States to sanction criminal behaviour through mutual cooperation. It contains a web of institutions, agencies, and external liaisons, which ensure the protection of EU citizens from serious crime, while protecting the fundamental rights of suspects and criminals.
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Chapter 27: EU law and international cooperation in criminal matters: a tale of legal competence and political competency

Theodore Konstadinides


This chapter provides an analysis of EU criminal justice as an external policy. It identifies its restrictions based on the lack of criminal law competence in the foreign policy realm. In lieu of the lack of such competence, the chapter will then discuss the advancement of indirect EU international cooperation in criminal matters by identifying briefly the instruments available and their legal basis. It will then turn to some case studies, starting with a consideration of the EU’s strategic partnership with Russia and the potential for a new EU-Russia legally binding agreement with criminal law implications and the issues of legislative competence surrounding it. The chapter also considers EU policy on capabilities enhancement in the Western Balkans as part of the development of regional cooperation with a view to EU accession. Once legal competence is established in this context, the purpose is to evaluate the political competency of the EU to influence public policy in the field of criminal justice.

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