EUROPEAN JUDICIAL COOPERATION UNIT
Eurojust is a new European Union body established in 2002 to enhance the effectiveness of the competent authorities within Member States when they are dealing with serious cross-border and organised crime. Eurojust stimulates and improves the coordination of investigations and prosecutions and also supports the Member States in order to render their investigations and prosecutions more effective.
Eurojust fulfils a unique role as a new permanent body in the European legal area. Its mission is to enhance the development of Europe-wide cooperation in criminal justice cases. This means that Eurojust is a key interlocutor with the European institutions such as the Parliament, the Council and the Commission.
The College of Eurojust is composed of 25 national members, one nominated by each EU Member State. The national members are senior, experienced prosecutors or judges; some national members are supported by deputies and assistants.
In June 2002, the national members elected Michael Kennedy, who is the national member for the United Kingdom, as President of the College. Olivier de Baynast (France) and Ulrike Haberl-Schwarz (Austria) were elected Vice-Presidents. The College is supported by an administrative team led by Ernst Merz.
Eurojust was created by an EU Council Decision of 28 February 2002 No 2002/187/JHA ( OJE L 63/1, 6.3.2002, amended by Council Decision of 18 June 2003 No 2003/659/JHA ( OJE L 245/44, 29.9.2003). It operated from Brussels on a provisional basis from 1 March 2001 and moved to The Hague in December 2002. Eurojust and Europol signed an agreement on close cooperation on 9 June 2004.