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EU Criminal Law
Introduction, Lisbon Treaty
EU criminal legislation
EU cannot adopt a general EU criminal
However, EU criminal legislation can add,
within the limits of EU competence,
important value to the existing national
criminal law systems
Importance of EU criminal law
Serious organised crime is committed across borders 
prevent misuse of those EU countries with the most
lenient legal systems and 'safe havens'.
By adopting minimum procedural rights standards and
making the fight against crime more efficient, EU
criminal law fosters citizens' confidence in the
security throughout the EU
Common rules strengthen mutual trust between EU
countries and facilitate cooperation and mutual
recognition of judicial measures.
EU criminal law helps to prevent and punish
serious offences against EU law in certain policy areas
(e.g. environment protection)
1st pillar:
2nd pillar:
Foreign and
Security Policy
Regulated the legal,
political and economic
structure of EC
Joined internal and
external policies:
-free movement of goods
 Supranational
Direct effect
3rd Pillar:
Justice and
Home Affairs
 Mixed method,
relied mainly on
3rd Pillar is converted to Police and Judicial
Cooperation in Criminal Matters:
 Drug trafficking and weapons smuggling
 Terrorism
 Trafficking in human beings
 Organised Crime
The rest of the 3rd Pillar was transfered to the 1st
Pillar: customs, asylum, visa, EU fraud…
Lisbon Treaty
Entered into force: 1st December 2009.
Amends: - TEU (1992 Maastricht Treaty)
- TEEC (1957 Rome Treaty)  TFEU
Abolished the 3-pillar structure and created a unified
legal system
Abolished framework decisions (no direct effect) 
directives (direct effect)
Sources of EU CrimLaw
Sources of primary law
-acts of Member States:
Treaty on the EU,
Treaty on the Functioning of the EU.
Sources of secondary law
-acts of EU institutions:
Chap. 4 of TFEU:
Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters
Art. 82: mutual recognition of judgments and
judicial decisions
Art. 83: Substantive Criminal Law
Art. 84: measures to promote and support the
action of Member States in the field of crime
Art. 86: European Public Prosecutor’s Office
Article 82 TFEU
Judicial cooperation in criminal matters in the
Union shall be based on the principle of mutual
recognition of judgments and judicial decisions
and shall include the approximation of the laws
and regulations of the Member States in specific
areas of criminal law.
Minimum rules for criminal matters with crossborder dimension by means of directives
Article 83 TFEU
Minimum rules defining particularly
serious crimes with a cross-border
dimension and establishing sanctions:
terrorism, trafficking in human beings and
sexual exploitation of women and children,
illicit drug trafficking, illicit arms
trafficking, money laundering, corruption,
counterfeiting of means of payment,
computer crime and organised crime
+other crimes that meet the criteria
Fundamental aspects of
national systems (83/3)
Ordinary legislative procedure:
Commission (proposal)
Council of Ministers &
Parliament (codecision)
In case of a collision with fundamental aspects of
national criminal justice system, ordinary procedure
can be (temporarly) suspended by referring the
draft to the European council
Article 84 TFEU
The European Parliament and the Council
of Ministers, acting in accordance with the
ordinary legislative procedure, may
establish measures to promote and
support the action of Member States in
the field of crime prevention, excluding
any harmonisation of the laws and
regulations of the Member States.