Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters
Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters (PJCC) was the third of the three pillars of the European Union (EU). It was named Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) before 1999. The pillar existed between 1993 and 2009, when it was absorbed into a consolidated European Union structure and became the area of freedom, security and justice.
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The pillar focused on co-operation in law enforcement. It was based more around intergovernmental cooperation than the other pillars meaning there was little input from the European Commission, European Parliament and the Court of Justice. It was responsible for policies including the European Arrest Warrant.
It was created, on the foundations of the TREVI cooperation, as the Justice and Home Affairs pillar by the Maastricht Treaty in order to advance cooperation in criminal and justice fields without member states sacrificing a great deal of sovereignty. Decisions were taken by consensus rather than majority (which was the case in the European Community areas) and the supranational institutions had little input.
The Treaty of Amsterdam transferred the areas of illegal immigration, visas, asylum, and judicial co-operation in civil matters to the integrated European Community. The term Justice and Home Affairs later covers these integrated fields as well as the intergovernmental third pillar. The pillar was renamed "Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters" to reflect its reduced scope.
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 aimed at reinforcing actions taken by member states while allowing a more coherent approach of these actions, by offering new tools for coordinating actions.
The Treaty of Lisbon, which entered into force in December 2009, abolished the entire pillar system. The PJC areas and those transferred from JHA to the Community were once more grouped together in creating an area of freedom, security and justice.
EU evolution timeline
Since the end of World War II, sovereign European countries have entered into treaties and thereby co-operated and harmonised policies (or pooled sovereignty) in an increasing number of areas, in the so-called European integration project or the construction of Europe (French: la construction européenne). The following timeline outlines the legal inception of the European Union (EU)—the principal framework for this unification. The EU inherited many of its present responsibilities from the European Communities (EC), which were founded in the 1950s in the spirit of the Schuman Declaration.
F: entry into force
de facto supersession
Rel. w/ EC/EU framework:
de facto inside
|European Union (EU)||[Cont.]|
|European Communities (EC)||(Pillar I)|
|European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom)||[Cont.]|
|/ / / European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC)|
|European Economic Community (EEC)|
|Schengen Rules||European Community (EC)|
|'TREVI'||Justice and Home Affairs (JHA, pillar II)|
|North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)||[Cont.]||Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters (PJCC, pillar II)|
|[Defence arm handed to NATO]||European Political Co-operation (EPC)||Common Foreign and Security Policy|
(CFSP, pillar III)
|Western Union (WU)||/ Western European Union (WEU)||[Tasks defined following the WEU's 1984 reactivation handed to the EU]|
|[Social, cultural tasks handed to CoE]||[Cont.]|
|Council of Europe (CoE)|
- ¹Although not EU treaties per se, these treaties affected the development of the EU defence arm, a main part of the CFSP. The Franco-British alliance established by the Dunkirk Treaty was de facto superseded by WU. The CFSP pillar was bolstered by some of the security structures that had been established within the remit of the 1955 Modified Brussels Treaty (MBT). The Brussels Treaty was terminated in 2011, consequently dissolving the WEU, as the mutual defence clause that the Lisbon Treaty provided for EU was considered to render the WEU superfluous. The EU thus de facto superseded the WEU.
- ²The treaties of Maastricht and Rome form the EU's legal basis, and are also referred to as the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), respectively. They are amended by secondary treaties.
- ³The European Communities obtained common institutions and a shared legal personality (i.e. ability to e.g. sign treaties in their own right).
- ⁴Between the EU's founding in 1993 and consolidation in 2009, the union consisted of three pillars, the first of which were the European Communities. The other two pillars consisted of additional areas of cooperation that had been added to the EU's remit.
- ⁵The consolidation meant that the EU inherited the European Communities' legal personality and that the pillar system was abolished, resulting in the EU framework as such covering all policy areas. Executive/legislative power in each area was instead determined by a distribution of competencies between EU institutions and member states. This distribution, as well as treaty provisions for policy areas in which unanimity is required and qualified majority voting is possible, reflects the depth of EU integration as well as the EU's partly supranational and partly intergovernmental nature.
- ⁶Plans to establish a European Political Community (EPC) were shelved following the French failure to ratify the Treaty establishing the European Defence Community (EDC). The EPC would have combined the ECSC and the EDC.
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 under Justice and Home Affairs:
- 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.
- Police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters Archived 2007-07-08 at the Wayback Machine EU Glossary