Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters

Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters

Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters (PJC), formally Justice and Home Affairs (JHA), is the third of the three pillars of the European Union, focusing on co-operation in law enforcement and combating racism. It is based more around intergovernmental cooperation than the other pillars meaning there is little input from the Commission, Parliament and the Courts. [ [http://europa.eu/scadplus/glossary/police_judicial_cooperation_en.htm Police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters] EU Glossary] It is responsible for policies including the European Arrest Warrant.


The Maastricht Treaty established that, while reaching the objectives of the Union, and notably the freedom of movement, the member states consider the following as areas of common interest:
#Rules concerning the entrance of external borders;
#Immigration policies and policies concerning third countries' citizens:
#*Conditions of entry and circulation for foreign citizens in the territory of the Union;
#*Conditions of residence for foreign citizens in the territory of Member States, comprising families and employment access;
#*Fight against irregular immigration, residence and work of foreigners within the territory of the Union;
#Combating illicit drugs where this is not covered by point 7), 8) and 9);
#Fight against international fraud where this is not covered by points 7), 8) and 9);
#Judicial co-operation in civil matters;
#Judicial co-operation in penal matters;
#Customs co-operation;
#Police co-operation for preventing and fighting terrorism, drugs trade and other grave forms of international criminality, comprising, if necessary, certain aspects of customs co-operation.

There are three decentralised EU bodies ('agencies') under the PJC pillar: Eurojust, Europol and Cepol.


The G6 is the six largest European Union member states (Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and Poland) who, under Qualified majority voting, hold the largest block of votes in the PJC pillar. As powers are largely intergovernmental, there is little supranational mediation by the Commission - allowing the six states to have a great deal of control in the Council. [ [http://www.euractiv.com/en/justice/police-judicial-operation-criminal-matters-eu-constitutional-treaty-keep/article-117047 Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters: Will the EU Constitutional Treaty Keep it Together] euractiv.com 08/04/04] The G6 is purely informal so has little transparency of its own, leading to criticism from some such as the UK's House of Lords. [ [http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200506/ldselect/ldeucom/221/22102.htm European Union - Fortieth Report] House of Lords]


European Communityrect 65 42 115 170 Common Foreign and Security Policyrect 126 42 176 170 Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters

It was created as the Justice and Home Affairs pillar in the Treaty of Maastricht; subsequently the Treaty of Amsterdam transferred the areas of illegal immigration, visas, asylum, and judicial co-operation to the integrated first (European Community) pillar. The term "Justice and Home Affairs" now covers these integrated fields as well as the intergovernmental third pillar.

Before the Maastricht Treaty, member states cooperated at the intergovernmental level in various sectors relating to free movement and personal security («group of co-ordinators», CELAD, TREVI) as well as in customs co-operation (GAM) and judicial policy. With Maastricht, Justice and Home Affairs co-operation aims at reinforcing actions taken by member states while allowing a more coherent approach of these actions, by offering new tools for coordinating actions.


If ratified, the Treaty of Lisbon would abolish the pillar system. Responsibilities would be combined, albeit with slightly different powers. [cite web|last =European Council|title = Brussels European Council 21/22 June 2007: Presidency Conclusions |date=2007-06-22|publisher=Council of the European Union|url=http://www.consilium.europa.eu/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressData/en/ec/94932.pdf|format=PDF|accessdate = 2007-06-22 ]


External links

* [http://europa.eu/pol/justice/index_en.htm Justice, freedom and security (Europa)]

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