Eurojust and the Republic of Moldova today signed a cooperation agreement during a visit to the Netherlands by the Prosecutor General of Moldova, Mr Corneliu Gurin. The agreement was signed by Mr Gurin and the President of Eurojust, Ms Michèle Coninsx.
The signing of the cooperation agreement between Eurojust and Moldova follows agreement in October 2013 on the wording of the draft agreement and long cooperation: Eurojust has had a contact point in Moldova since January 2007, and Moldova has been involved in 13 cases registered at Eurojust, including murder, trafficking in human beings and large-scale money laundering. The cooperation agreement governs closer cooperation and makes provision for the exchange of operational information, including personal data, in accordance with Eurojust’s data protection rules.
The cooperation agreement also provides for the possibility for Moldova to second a Liaison Prosecutor to Eurojust and for Eurojust to post a Liaison Magistrate to Moldova. Eurojust currently hosts Liaison Magistrates from Norway and the USA, and from 2015 will host a Liaison Magistrate from Switzerland.
Moldova has also participated in Member States’ projects that received Commission funding, demonstrating the need to enhance cooperation with third States. For instance, the Slovenian and Bulgarian Ministries of Interior project on Joint Investigation Teams (JITs) to fight trafficking in human beings in Southeast Europe, in which Eurojust also participated and for which a follow-up request for project funding has been submitted.
Cooperation with third States is increasingly seen as crucial in combating organised cross-border crime and terrorism, as reflected in Article 2 of the cooperation agreement, which states that its purpose: ‘is to enhance the cooperation between Eurojust and the Republic of Moldova in combating serious crime, in particular organised crime and terrorism.’
Eurojust has already concluded cooperation agreements with the following third States: Norway, Iceland, the USA, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, and is in negotiation with other third States.
Cooperation between Eurojust and third States can help to accelerate or facilitate the execution of extradition and mutual legal assistance requests, clarify legal requirements and relevant legislation and identify competent national authorities.
Mr Gurin commented: ‘As the cooperation agreement states, the interests of both the Republic of Moldova and Eurojust are considered in developing close and dynamic cooperation to meet the challenges of serious crime, particularly organised crime and terrorism. This agreement is certainly beneficial to both parties and is a step to meeting the EU’s Action Plan on Visa Liberalisation, and another demonstration of Moldova’s efforts toward greater international cooperation, following the Association Agreement signed with the European Union in June.’
After the signing, Ms Coninsx stated: ‘I am very pleased to sign this cooperation agreement with the Republic of Moldova. It comes at a time when cooperation with third States is in the spotlight, and underlines Eurojust’s willingness to take the fight against cross-border crime to the perpetrators, regardless of where they may be located.’