The Future of European Criminal Justice under the Lisbon Treaty

Venue: Trier

Location: Trier, Germany

Event Date/Time: Mar 11, 2010 End Date/Time: Mar 12, 2010
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At this seminar experts from the EU and Member States will analyse the changes brought about by the Lisbon Treaty in the field of criminal justice and debate consequences of future integration in this policy area.

One of the major changes of the Lisbon Treaty is that it will abolish the EU's pillar structure. The so-called "third pillar" of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters will be assimilated with other policy areas in the renamed Treaty on the functioning of the European Union.

The implications of the Lisbon Treaty for police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters in the EU will thus be manifold. On the one hand, the institutional setting will change, for example by introducing the co-decision procedure, qualified majority voting, and enlarging the Court of Justice’s jurisdiction to cover all areas previously within the third pillar. On the other, however, police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters will continue to be subject to a distinctive legal regime. The Member States will have the options to use an "emergency brake" or a "flexibility" procedure to proceed with enhanced cooperation. Furthermore, some Member States will maintain their right to opt out or in and there is a transitional period of five years before the area is fully "communitarised". Finally, the Lisbon Treaty paves the way for future steps such as the establishment of a European Public Prosecutor to combat crimes affecting the financial interests of the EU.