Establishing access for Eurojust to eu-LISA's new large-scale IT system ECRIS-TCN, as well as the Interoperability architecture that will strengthen the Justice and Home Affairs domain, is the foundation of the three-year Cooperation Plan signed today by eu-LISA Executive Director Krum Garkov and Eurojust President Ladislav Hamran. It also covers future cooperation in the context of the Digital Criminal Justice initiative and e-CODEX, a cross-border judicial tool that will be managed by eu-LISA starting 2023. The plan outlines detailed practical modalities of mutual support between the two Agencies.
Eurojust President Mr. Ladislav Hamran said: "Digitalisation requires cooperation, and Eurojust warmly welcomes the opportunity to join forces with eu-LISA on the important topics addressed in this Cooperation Plan. I am certain that it will prove to be a decisive next step in our shared efforts to bring cross-border judicial cooperation up to the standards of the 21st century."
Mr. Krum Garkov, Executive Director of eu-LISA, stated: "Quick and efficient exchange of judicial information is paramount for the future development of the Schengen Area and of the European Union. The Cooperation Plan we sign today – which builds upon the foundation of our long-standing collaboration agreement set up in 2017 – will facilitate both Agencies' efforts in accelerating the digital transformation we are all a part of, and in increasing our contribution to the Member States, with the ultimate goal of providing tangible benefits for EU citizens. We look forward to consolidating our partnership with Eurojust."
ECRIS-TCN (European Criminal Records Information System – Third Country Nationals) will be a new, centralised, hit/ no-hit large-scale IT system to supplement the existing EU criminal records database (ECRIS) on non-EU nationals convicted in the European Union. As outlined in the Cooperation Plan, Eurojust will be able to query ECRIS-TCN for identifying the Member States holding criminal records information on a third-country national. Efficient exchange of criminal records information is instrumental in combating cross-border crime. ECRIS-TCN will contribute to implementing the principle of mutual recognition of sentences and judicial decisions in a common area of justice and security where people move freely, such as the Schengen Area.
The Digital Criminal Justice initiative consists of a number of concrete measures aimed at further modernising cross-border judicial cooperation in criminal matters. It is one of Eurojust's key priorities and will help to minimise errors caused by the manual handling of data and overcome limitations in the sharing of evidence. As a result, links between existing cases will be identified faster and more efficiently, thereby strengthening the EU's efforts in the fight against organised crime and terrorism. Considering eu-LISA's expertise in the field of large-scale IT systems, cooperation between both agencies on Digital Criminal Justice could be hugely beneficial.
e-CODEX aims to improve the efficiency of cross-border communication between European judicial authorities and facilitate access to justice for citizens and businesses. As part of eu-LISA's growing role in the justice domain, the Agency is set to take over operational management of the system as of 1 July 2023.
The Cooperation Plan implements in practice the modalities of cooperation set forth in the Eurojust and eu-LISA Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2017. While the Memorandum of Understanding remains the overarching framework for the two Agencies' collaboration, the Cooperation Plan aims to outline specific actions in more detail, with a view to effectively and efficiently implementation specific actions, enabling eu-LISA and Eurojust to further enhance synergies in the Justice and Home Affairs area.
Eurojust and eu-LISA have also agreed to share expertise and knowledge on ICT-related matters, as well on research priorities and findings. Furthermore, the Agencies may consult each other and exchange know-how on the use of artificial intelligence.
The Cooperation Plan also defines principles when it comes to the consultation on strategic and planning documents, the planning and implementing of technical trainings related to SIS, ECRIS-TCN and e-CODEX, and the exchange of lessons learnt in the area of personal data protection, including security by design, data protection by design and by default.
European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (eu-LISA)
eu-LISA was established in 2011 in order to provide a long-term solution for IT-driven internal security and to support the implementation of asylum, migration and border management policies in Europe. Since then, eu-LISA has run Eurodac, SIS and VIS and has been providing Member State authorities with the expert training needed to help them with the constant exchange of information across Europe. Thanks to the trust eu-LISA has fostered over the years, we are now developing EES, ETIAS and ECRIS-TCN and ensuring interoperability between all six IT-systems, in order to take EU internal security and border management to the next level.
European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (Eurojust)
As the EU's hub for judicial cooperation, Eurojust delivers hands-on support to national authorities by promoting the exchange of information, developing prosecutorial strategies, facilitating the use of judicial cooperation tools, and implementing joint actions. Together with the Member States and an extensive network of international partners, Eurojust is making Europe a safer place for all of its citizens.