Eurojust concludes agreement with Switzerland

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The Hague, 01 December 2008

Following intensive negotiations between Eurojust and Switzerland, both parties successfully concluded a judicial cooperation agreement, which was signed during a ceremony held in Brussels on 27 November.

BACKGROUND
The purpose of the Agreement is to enhance the cooperation between Switzerland and Eurojust in fighting serious forms of international crime. The Agreement governs modalities for closer and increased cooperation, as well as provisions for the exchange of general as well as personal data, in accordance with Eurojust’s data protection rules.

Switzerland may second a Liaison Prosecutor to Eurojust, who shall be regarded as a formal representative of Switzerland to Eurojust.

The Agreement between Eurojust and Switzerland was signed on Thursday 27 November 2008 by the Swiss Minister of Justice, Ms Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, and the President of Eurojust, Mr José Luís Lopes da Mota, during a ceremony held at the European Council in Brussels.

In addition to the signatories, a representative of the French Presidency and Ms Malci Gabrijelčič, National Member for Slovenia and Chair of the External Relations Team at Eurojust, were present.

After signing the Agreement, Mr Lopes da Mota made a statement:

“Today marks an important step forward in the fight against terrorism and organised crime. Judicial cooperation between the EU and Switzerland has been excellent, but before this Agreement no exchange of personal data between Eurojust and Switzerland was provided for, which made prosecution difficult or even impossible.”

Ms Widmer-Schlumpf commented: “I am very pleased with this Agreement, an important tool that will improve our cooperation with Eurojust. Crime is becoming increasingly trans-national; this is why such an agreement is essential in the fight against it.”

Joannes THUY,

Press Officer and Spokesperson.

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