An EU approach to criminal law
Report on an EU approach on criminal law
This non-legislative report by Cornelis de JONG (GUE/NGL, NL) was written for and adopted by the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.
The report welcomes the recognition by the Commission in its recent Communication on an EU criminal law policy that the first step in criminal law legislation should always be to decide whether to adopt substantive criminal law measures at all. Members stress that proposals for such measures should respect the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality. Some other points are as follows:
The harmonisation of criminal law in the EU should contribute to the development of a common EU legal culture in relation to fighting crime. It should have a positive impact on mutual trust across the scope of legal systems of the Member States.
In accordance with the lex certa (legal certainty) requirement, the elements of a criminal offence must be worded precisely in order to “ensure predictability as regards its application, scope and meaning”.
Criminal law must fully respect the fundamental rights of suspected, accused or convicted persons.
The report resolves to examine how a coherent approach to EU legislation on substantive criminal law can best be ensured within Parliament, and points in this respect to the current lack of a coordinating committee and to the important role that its Legal Service could potentially play.
The importance of establishing an information service for Parliament that can support the individual Members in their daily work, thus ensuring the quality of Parliament’s work as a co-legislator is emphasised.
Lastly, the report points out that a coherent approach requires Parliament – before adopting any legislative proposal on substantive criminal law – to have at its disposal “a legal analysis of the proposal showing whether all the requirements mentioned in this Resolution have been fully met, or which improvements are still necessary”.
The European Parliament voted to approve the report on the 21st May 2012 with 537 for, 38 against and 57 abstentions.
To read the report click here
Alternatively visit the website at www europarl.europa.eu
Last Updated (Wednesday, 13 June 2012 08:09)