The foundation of Eurojust  is one of the most important projects realized by the EU in the area of cooperation between member states in criminal matters.
History of Eurojust goes as far as to the European Council meeting held in Tampere (October 1999), where the requirement for creation of a judicial cooperation unit (Eurojust) was raised in order to reinforce combatting serious organized crime. The European Council decided to create the Eurojust unit composed of national public prosecutors, judges or police officers with similar competences, delegated by individual member states in compliance with their national laws.
This requirement was followed by a Council Decision of 14.12.2000 on the creation of a Provisional Judicial Cooperation Unit – Pro-Eurojust . This unit was based in Brussels, it was supported by the Council infrastructure and it began its operation on 1.3.2001. The objectives of the project were formulated as follows:
- to improve cooperation between the competent national authorities in the course of investigation and prosecution of serious organized crime that concerns two or more member states
- in the same framework to support and improve the coordination of investigation and criminal prosecution,
- to provide its expert knowledge to member states and Council, if necessary in order to negotiate and adopt the legislative tool establishing Eurojust
The objective of Pro-Eurojust members according to this article was to contribute, within their statutory competences laid down by national laws and in cooperation with any competent authorities, to due coordination and facilitation of judicial cooperation between the competent national authorities in the course of investigation and criminal prosecution of serious organized crime concerning two or more member states.
Eurojust was established by the Council decision of 28. 2.2002 – 2002/187/JHA (hereinafter referred to as “Decision”). Since April 2003 its seat is in Haague. This decision was then amended by the Council decision of 18.6.2003 – 2003/659/JHA  and Council decision of 16.12.2008 – 2009/426/JHA on strengthening of Eurojust . An important milestone in the development of Eurojust was the Regulation (EU) 2018/1727 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 November 2018 (hereinafter referred to as “Regulation”), which superseded the previous Decision, and based upon which Eurojust became the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation.
Activities of the representation of the Czech Republic in Eurojust are defined in Section 21 through 33 of the Act no. 104/2013 Coll., on International Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters.
The competence of Eurojust involves the following criminal offenses:
- organized crime
- drug trafficking
- money laundering
- criminal activity associated with nuclear and radioactive substances
- illegal immigrant smuggling
- trafficking in human beings
- criminal activity associated with motor vehicles
- murder and grievous bodily harm
- illicit trade with human organs and tissue
- kidnapping, illegal restraint and hostage taking
- racism and xenophobia
- robbery and aggravated theft
- illicit trafficking in cultural goods, including antiquities and works of art,
- swindling and fraud
- crime against the financial interests of the Union
- insider dealing and financial market manipulation
- racketeering and extortion
- counterfeiting and product piracy
- forgery of administrative documents and trafficking therein
- forgery of money and means of payment
- computer crime
- illicit trafficking in arms, ammunition and explosives
- illicit trafficking in endangered animal species
- illicit trafficking in endangered plant species and varieties,
- environmental crime, including ship source pollution
- illicit trafficking in hormonal substances and other growth promoters
- sexual abuse and sexual exploitation, including child abuse material and solicitation of children for sexual purposes
- genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes
Furthermore, the competence of Eurojust also includes criminal offenses associated with the above referred crimes. Upon request of the competent authority of a Member State, Eurojust may, in compliance with its objectives, also provide assistance in investigation and prosecution of other forms of crime.
It is also worth mentioning that Eurojust exercises its competence in relation to criminal offenses harming or threatening financial interests of the European Union, which concern Member States participating on the enhanced cooperation in order to establish the Office of European Public Prosecutor, if these criminal offenses do not pertain to the competence of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office or if the European Public Prosecutor’s Office decides not to exercise its competence.
The objective of Eurojust is to facilitate cooperation involving in particular the Member States of the European Union. Nevertheless, upon request of a competent authority of a Member State, Eurojust may also provide assistance in cases concerning only this Member State and a third country, provided that an agreement on cooperation or a working arrangement pursuant to article 52 of the Regulation has been concluded, or if there is vital interest on the provision of such assitance in the specific case.
Upon request of a competent authority of a Member State or the Commission, Eurojust may also provide assistance in cases concerning only this Member State, which, however, have impact on the Union level.
Eurojust facilitates and enhances coordination and cooperation between domestic authorities charged with investigation and prosecution of serious crime pertaining to its competence.
- informs the competent authorities of Member States about investigations and prosecutions it has been notified aboout, which have impact on Union level or could have impact on other than directly involved Member States
- assists the competent authorities of Member States with securing best possible coordination of investigation and prosecution
- facilitates improvement of cooperation between competent authorities of Member States , in particular on the basis of Europol analyses
- cooperates and consult with the European Judicial Network in criminal cases, whreas it uses inter alia the database of documents of EJN and contributes to its improvement
- closely cooperates with the European Public Prosecutor’s Office in cases pertaining to its competence
- provides operative, technical and financial support for cross-border operations and investigations of Member States, inter alia for joint investigation teams
- supports specialized Union centers established by Europol and other authorities, institutions and other Union entities, and as the case may be, participates therein,
- cooperates with authorities, institutions and other Union entities and with Union networks established in the area of freedom, security and justice, provided for in Title V of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union
- supports the activities of Member States in combat against serious forms of crime
- in the course of performing its objectives, Europjust may request the competent authorities of the Member States concerned, with justification, to:
- initiate investigation or prosecution of certain crimes
- agree that one of them is in a better position to conduct investigation or prosecution of certain crimes
- coordinate the activities between the competent authorities of the Member States concerned
- establish a joint investigation team in compliance with the applicable mechanisms of cooperation
- provide Eurojust information necessary to perform its tasks
- perform special investigative actions
- adopt any other justified measures for investigation or prosecution
Internal structure of Eurojust:
Eurojust consists of:
- National Members, whereas each Member State sends their representative to Eurojust, who has a permanent workplace in the seat of Eurojust; each National Member is assisted by a deputy and assistant. In principle, Eurojust exercises operative competences through the National Members.
- College, which consists of 27 National Members and one representative of the Commission. The College is presided by Chairman and Vice-chairmen (also called President and Vice-presidents). The College is the main governing body of Eurojust.
- The Executive Board consisting of the President and Vice-Presidents of Eurojust, one representative of the Commission and two other members of the College appointed on a two-year rotating basis. The Executive Board assists the College and is responsible for taking administrative decisions to ensure the proper functioning of Eurojust. It supervises the necessary preparatory work of the Administrative Director on other administrative matters for adoption by the College. It does not take part in the exercise of Eurojust’s operational powers.
- Administrative Director, who is responsible for fulfillment of administrative tasks entrusted to Eurojust
Since 2004, Europjust has been divided internally into so called Teams. The Teams are composed of National Members, their deputies and the competent administrative apparatus. They are responsible for certain topics, to which they public reports and recommendations to the College. There are following Teams: Presidential, Terrorism Countering, Tools of Judicial Cooperation, External Relations, Ilicit Trafficking, Economic Crime, Cybercime, Consultation for Oraganizational Development and Casework and Associated Projects.
Eurojust exercises its competence wither through its National Members or its acts as the College, whereas we need to point out that Eurojust is not competent to adopt decisions binding for Member States, but it is a “mere” coordinating and recommending authority in the area of international cooperation in criminal matters.
Eurojust may also issue a written non-binding opinion in case two or more National Members are unable to agree on resolution of a competence dispute. Eurojust may also issue a non-binding opinion in case of recurring refusals or difficulties with execution of requssts and decisions concerning judicial cooperation. If the competent authorities of Member States do not accept Eurojust’s recommendation, they are obliged to justify their position.
Relationships of Eurojust with third states:
In accordance with its mandate, Eurojust also seeks close cooperation with countries outside the European Union. At present, liaison prosecutors from the United States, Norway, Switzerland, Ukraine, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Georgia and Albania work directly at Eurojust headquarters. There are also currently representatives from the United Kingdom at Eurojust. In terms of operational cooperation, the intensity of cooperation with these countries has reached a level common among the Member States of the European Union. Eurojust has also managed to establish formal contacts with a total of 52 third countries where Eurojust contact points have been established.
The competent authorities of the Member States have a notification duty towards Eurojust where necessary for the performance of its tasks; therein they are obliged to provide Eurojust with information on each case concerning at least three member states, and concerning which at least member two states received a request or decision on judicial cooperation, including requests or decisions based on instruments implementing the principle of mutual recognition, provided that one or more of the following conditions are met:
- it concerns a criminal offense punishable in the requesting or issuing Member State by a prison sentence or a a protective measure involving incarceration with the upper limit of at least five or six years, to be decided by the Member State concerned, and consists of one of the following acts: trafficking in human beings, sexual abuse or sexual exploitation (including child pornography and soliciting children for sexual purposes), drug trafficking, trafficking in firearms, their parts or components, ammunition or explosives, corruption, offences against the financial interests of the European Union, counterfeiting of money or means of payment, money laundering, cybercrime;
- there is specific evidence that a criminal conspiracy is involved;
- there is evidence indicating that the case could have a serious cross-border dimension or could have impact at the European Union level or impact on Member States other than those directly involved;
In addition, Member States are obliged to notify Eurojust of cases where there are or are likely to be jurisdiction disputes, of controlled deliveries involving at least three states, at least two of which are Member States, of repeated difficulties or refusals in the execution of requests and decisions on judicial cooperation, including requests and decisions based on instruments implementing the principle of mutual recognition.
Representation of the Prosecutor General’s Office in Eurojust
The Czech Republic is represented by the National Member, Mgr. Lukáš Starý, and his deputy, Mgr. Martina Hluštíková.
Fore more information see www.eurojust.europa.eu
 Council Decision of 28 February 2002 setting up Eurojust with a view to reinforcing the fight against serious crime (2002/187/JHA) – Official Journal L 63, 6. 3. 2002, p. 1.
 OJ No L 324/2-3, 21. 12. 2000.
 Council Decision 2003/659/JHA of 18 June 2003, amending Decision 2002/187/JHA setting up Eurojust with a view to reinforcing the fight against serious crime – Official Journal L 245, 29.9.2003, p. 44—46.
 Council Decision 2009/426/JHA of 16 December 2008 on the strengthening of Eurojust and amending Decision 2002/187/JHA setting up Eurojust with a view to reinforcing the fight against serious crime, Official Journal L 138, 4.6.2009, p. 14—32.
 Regulation (EU) 2018/1727 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 November 2018 on the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (Eurojust), and replacing and repealing Council Decision 2002/187/JHA