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Police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters

Within the area of freedom, security and justice (AFSJ), the aim of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters is to ensure a high level of safety for European Union (EU) citizens by preventing and combating crime, racism and xenophobia. It is dealt with in Title V of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (Chapters I, IV and V).

EU police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters takes 3 forms:

  • cooperation between national police forces;
  • cooperation between national administrations (in particular customs services);
  • cooperation between national judicial authorities.

Cooperation is implemented with the help of EU agencies such as Eurojust, Europol and the European Judicial Network.

Cooperation between the judiciary mainly operates through a mechanism called mutual recognition of judgments and judicial decisions (e.g. in the area of detention & transfer of prisoners, the European Arrest Warrant, the European Investigation Order, the confiscation & freezing of assets, and financial penalties).