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EU Member States Want to Exchange Information About Terrorist Cases More Quickly

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European justice ministers agreed on Thursday at a meeting in Luxembourg to exchange digital information about terrorist cases more quickly.


Member States are currently passing on information on terrorist cases through various channels to Eurojust, the agency in The Hague that is responsible for promoting criminal law cooperation. The information ends up in a register, but this technically outdated system does not allow proper cross-checks, according to a communication from the Council (the EU institution in which the member states are located, ed.).

A new regulation should bring solace. Member States will have to provide Eurojust with information on all criminal investigations into terrorist offences via a new secure digital channel, as soon as the case is referred to the judicial authorities. A new digital system is being set up at Eurojust to allow cross-checks. This should make it easier to discover links between investigations and prosecutions and to inform Member States thereof.

The exchange of terrorist information in the EU has already been significantly strengthened since the Paris attacks in 2015, including the establishment of the register at Eurojust, but not all Member States still transfer information to The Hague permanently. European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders hopes that the regulation will be a step forward. “The permanent exchange is vital in these kinds of situations,” he greeted the agreement.

In Luxembourg, the justice ministers established their position for negotiations with the European Parliament, which must also approve the text. This also applies to a new regulation that creates a platform for the coordination of joint investigation teams. The platform will allow Member State authorities participating in such a team to quickly exchange operational information and evidence. In that case, too, the Member States are ready to start negotiations.

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