44th Regular Meeting of the European Judicial Network in The Hague,16 February 2023

On 16 February 2023 the 44th Regular Meeting of the EJN took place at Eurojust under the Swedish Presidency. The event gathered 60 participants from the EU Member States, as well as from Albania, Kosovo, Moldova, North Macedonia, Norway, Ukraine, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey.

The EJN Contact Points discussed the application of the EIO in light of new CJEU case-law, especially in the context of Gavanozov II and the upcoming judgment on the Encrochat case. Contact Points also shared recent experiences with the EAW concerning Petruhhin scenarios and possible difficulties with regard to in absentia judgment. There was a debate about specific issues encountered with the application of Regulation (EU) 2018/1805 on the mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders, in particular regarding recognition. Cooperation with third countries was also a topic of discussion.  

Otherwise attention was drawn to the provisional follow-up of the recommendations given to the EJN after the 9th Round of Mutual Evaluation. The work of the EJN was clearly recognized during the evaluation process. However, the possibilities that the network can provide for practitioners should be more clearly highlighted in a number of countries, in particular when it comes to the facilitation of direct contacts and consultations. It is also necessary to note that, according to the recommendations, the EJN and Eurojust are invited to work together, thus strengthening the synergy between the two organizations. This cooperation was suggested for a number of documents, for example, on the guidance on the functional relationship and complementarity between Article 4(6) of Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA and Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA, and, upon a request from the European Commission, on a handbook containing practical guidance on the application of the Framework Decisions 2008/947/JHA and 2009/829/JHA.  

This meeting was also remarkable for the internal business of the EJN. It was the first large-scale EJN meeting for the new Secretary to the EJN, Mr Hugh Dockry who received a warm welcome. Furthermore, this is a special year for the EJN and the tribute to the European Judicial Network in its 25th Anniversary was officially launched at the meeting. More dedicated events will come later this year.