The Hague, 18 December 2009
Expert Meeting 2009 on Joint Investigation Teams
On 30 November and 1 December 2009, experts and practitioners from 25 EU Member States, including representatives of Eurojust, Europol, Olaf, the Council Secretariat, the European Parliament and the European Commission, met in The Hague to exchange views, experiences and best practice on the use of Joint Investigation Teams (JITs).
This fifth annual Experts Meeting on JITs, organised by Eurojust in collaboration with Europol, focused on the future role of the JIT Experts Network, especially in light of the integration of the JIT Secretariat within the Administration of Eurojust, and on practical recommendations and views about a new model agreement on JITs. Excerpts of the main outcomes appear below. The full conclusions have been published as a Council Document..
A Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is an investigation team set up on the basis of an agreement between two or more Member States and/or other parties, for a specific purpose and limited duration. Exchange of information can be immediate. JIT members can be present at house searches, interviews, etc., in all jurisdictions covered. Europol and Eurojust are often involved in JITs, providing direct support and assistance. Direct EU funding is possible from either the Commission or Eurojust.
The JIT Experts Network has just celebrated its fifth anniversary, having been set up in 2005. The added value of JITs is being widely recognised and utilised. The general opinion about investigations involving JITs is very positive, while the particular circumstances of each case must be considered individually. Setting up a permanent, autonomous and dedicated Secretariat for JITs is deemed important for developing their potential further – as is foreseen in the amended Eurojust Decision
The Experts agreed that the Secretariat should provide a web-based platform enabling better exchange of best practice, legal information and results of court decisions.
To perform these tasks, the Secretariat will receive relevant information primarily from nationally-nominated experts, and from Eurojust National Members and Europol. Also, to improve internal training and increase awareness amongst practitioners across Europe, the JIT Experts decided to hold regular internal training events, at least once a year.
Moreover, during this JIT meeting clear guidance and best practice were provided in regard to the contents of a JIT model agreement. Such an agreement would pro-actively face the main identified issues and problems, such as possible restrictions and national requirements, encountered in the start-up and operation phases of a JIT.
Further information is available on www.eurojust.europa.eu/jit_funding.htm