European criminal justice in the European and global context

Date01 March 2019
Published date01 March 2019
Subject MatterSpecial Issue: Articles
Special Issue: Article
European criminal justice in the
European and global context
John A.E. Vervaele
Utrecht Law School, Utrecht University, the Netherlands
European criminal justice is not only about harmonization and Europeanization of the domestic
criminal justice systems but also about common criminal policies and shared values, including key
values related to the rule of law. What has been achieved in the European integration process and
what are the challenges ahead of us? The author assesses this in the area of harmonization of
substantive criminal law and criminal procedure; mutual recognition; European judicial agencies
and the external dimension of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice.
Area of freedom, security and justice, Eu ropean criminal justice, harmonizat ion, EU agencies,
mutual recognition
Opening words
I am convinced that atthe end of this conference we could quote froma very famous Portuguese writer,
Fernando Pessoa: ‘O valor das coisas na
˜oest´a no tempo que elas duram mas na intensidade com que
acontecem. Por issoexistem momentos inesquec´ıveis, coisasinexplic´aveis e pessoas incompar´aveis’; or
to put it in English: ‘The value of the things is not the time they last but the intensity with which they
occur. This is why there are unforgettable moments, there are inexplicable things and incomparable
persons’. The intensity of the development of European criminal law in the last few decades is unques-
tionable. The way in which Pedro has organised this conference in Coimbra makes him incomparable.
Sovereignty and interdependence
When dealing with European criminal justice and underlying values, principles and policies, it is
obvious to start with the actual institutional political context. This very week Le Figaro published
Corresponding author:
John A.E. Vervaele, Utrecht Law School, Utrecht University, Newtonlaan 231, Utrecht 3584BH, the Netherlands.
New Journal of European Criminal Law
2019, Vol. 10(1) 7–16
ªThe Author(s) 2019
Article reuse guidelines:
DOI: 10.1177/2032284419840708

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