European Commission announces CFPs for Action Grants to Promote Judicial Cooperation in Civil and Criminal Justice
Deadline: 23 April 2020
European Commission is currently accepting proposals for its action grants to promote judicial cooperation in civil and criminal justice.
Judicial cooperation in civil matters
The aim is to promote judicial cooperation in civil matters and to contribute to the effective and coherent application and enforcement of EU instruments.
Priority shall be given to projects aiming at better enforcement and practical application of civil justice instruments, in particular:
better enforcement of judicial decisions through better procedures, case-handling and cooperation in cross-border civil and commercial disputes;
improving the situation of children involved in civil cases, e.g. through better procedures, case-handling and cooperation in family law areas such as parental responsibility, international child abduction and maintenance;
facilitating cross-border successions through better cross-border cooperation, case-handling and awareness-raising;
improving cross-border circulation of public documents, including those on civil status through better information and awareness-raising.
Judicial cooperation in criminal matters
The aim is to promote judicial cooperation in criminal matters and to contribute to the effective and coherent application of EU mutual recognition instruments in criminal matters.
Priority shall be given to the implementation and practical application of the following mutual recognition instruments:
Directive 2014/41/EU regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters;
Council Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between Member States;
Council Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA on the application of the principle of mutual recognition to judgments in criminal matters imposing custodial sentences or measures involving deprivation of liberty for the purpose of their enforcement in the European Union;
Council Framework Decision 2008/947/JHA on the application of the principle of mutual recognition to judgments and probation decisions with a view to the supervision of probation measures and alternative sanctions;
Council Framework Decision 2009/829/JHA on the application, between Member States of the European Union, of the principle of mutual recognition to decisions on supervision measures as an alternative to provisional detention;
Council Framework Decision 2005/214/JHA on the application of the principle of mutual recognition to financial penalties;
Regulation (EU) 2018/1805 on the mutual recognition of freezing orders and confiscation orders.
Priority shall also be given to:
the efficient contribution to the European Agenda on Security as regards the judicial responses to terrorism, notably on reinforcing the prevention of radicalisation, especially in prisons;
issues related to pre-trial detention and alternatives to detention, in particular raising awareness of case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and recommendations of the Council of Europe in this field;
the functioning of Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) Treaties or other Treaties containing provisions on MLA with third States (e.g. EU-US MLA Agreement, Budapest Cybercrime Convention), including with respect to the exchange of electronic data.
Proposals not in line with priorities 1 and 2 may still be awarded funding if applicants can justify this by the necessity to improve the implementation and application of the civil or criminal justice EU acquis on the basis of an evidence-based needs assessment, showing that more activities are required for the proper application of EU law in the field to be covered.
Support to the members of the European Judicial Network (EJN) in civil and commercial matters and to the national authorities, courts and professional associations they represent
The main objective is to contribute to the effective and coherent application of the EU acquis relating to judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters.
Priority shall be given to supporting the setting up and strengthening of national networks under the EJN in civil and commercial matters in order to ensure better implementation and case-handling under the civil justice legislation. Strengthened national networks can promote better implementation of EU civil justice instruments through cooperation, dialogue, sharing of experience, exchange of information and training activities (where appropriate also in liaison with other national systems). Through these activities the national projects would promote full involvement of all national Network members, ensuring interaction at national level, knowledge sharing and gathering of information, thus contributing to increasing the national substantial input to the Network’s activities (in particular the Network meetings) and thereby strengthening the action and visibility of the Network as a whole. As a result, this would deepen EU-wide building bridges and mutual trust between different justice systems.
Support to Member States for their connection to the ECRIS-TCN system
The ECRIS-TCN (European Criminal Record Information System – Third Country Nationals) system will replace costly requests currently addressed to all Member States by a more efficient search mechanism against both alphanumeric and fingerprint data of convicted third country nationals (TCN) to identify the Member State(s) holding criminal record information. Since it will be easier to identify the Member States which are the convicting ones, this will encourage more systematic use of ECRIS for TCN significantly increasing the current use of the system.
The main objective of this priority is to support projects implementing the needed adaptations of the national criminal records systems for the linking and exchange of fingerprints with the ECRIS-TCN central system.
The indicative maximum amount earmarked for the co-financing of projects under this call for proposals is estimated at EUR 6 500 000. For an idea of the size of a grant awarded under previous calls, please refer to project abstracts published under these call notices.
The initial duration of the projects should not exceed 24 months.
Whereas several measures and initiatives are listed, it is not requested to include all of them in a single project. Projects with a strong focus are very much valued. This topic will cover the following activities:
facilitating cooperation between competent authorities and agencies, legal practitioners and/or service providers (including multi-disciplinary networks at international, national, regional or local levels);
mutual learning, identifying and exchange of best practices, development of working methods which may be transferable to other participating countries;
analytical activities, including data collection, surveys, research, etc.;
exchange and provision of information and development of information tools;
capacity building for professionals;
dissemination and awareness raising activities;
training activities can also be funded under this call, as long as they are of ancillary nature and not the main purpose of the project.
For priority 4, project activities would in principle include analytical, conceptual, design and elaboration work, IT software development, quality assurance and related auxiliary measures necessary for the establishment of new IT systems, as well as the expansion and adaptation of existing national solutions towards addressing the objectives of priority 4. Activities relating to project management, communication, promotion and dissemination are also eligible for funding.
The Programme eligible countries are:
the Member States of the European Union (including their overseas departments), except for Denmark and the United Kingdom;
Albania and Montenegro.
Eligibility of the lead applicant (coordinator) and co-applicant(s) (partner(s))
The applicant and the partners must be public bodies or private organisations, duly established in one of the countries participating in the programme, or international organisations.
Organisations that are profit-oriented may only submit applications in partnership with public bodies or private non-profit organisations.
Under the Justice programme, entities affiliated to a beneficiary are not considered as project participants, unless they are included as partners in the proposal.
Eligibility of the application
For priorities 1 and 2:
The applications must be submitted by a partnership including at least two organisations (applicant and partner) actively involved in the implementation of the proposed action;
The project must be transnational. The partnership must include organisations from at least two eligible countries;
The EU grant requested cannot be lower than EUR 75 000. There is no maximum limit.
For priorities 3 and 4:
The applications may be submitted by a single applicant or in partnership;
The project can be either national or transnational;
The EU grant requested cannot be lower than EUR 75 000. There is no maximum limit.
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