Cross-border crime in the EU: guaranteeing rights and freedoms for citizens
Following a long and difficult negotiating process of almost three years, the Report ‘European Investigation Order in Criminal Matters’ was today adopted by the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs of the European Parliament, with 42 votes in favour and one against. This Report aims at creating a unique, efficient and flexible means to obtain evidence of criminal matters in other Member States.
The proposal will allow that a judicial authority of one country can request evidence from another country, such as hearing witnesses, searches and seizures, DNA findings, controlled deliveries, information on bank accounts and operations, and other measures based on the so-called principle of mutual recognition, but also respecting rights, freedoms and guarantees for citizens, taking into account the legal and constitutional principles of the Member States.
Portuguese Rapporteur Nuno Melo said: “In a common area ruled by free movement of people, goods and capitals, new criminal investigation procedures are being created at European level as a set of tools that will allow an efficient fight against cross-border criminality and also for cases that cause great social alarm and damage, such as terrorism, murder, drug trafficking and corruption, whilst ensuring the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. This approval is bad news for those who commit crime in the European Union.”
“This is a very important step in the European construction, for our area of freedom and effective justice”, concluded Nuno Melo MEP.