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On crime, European Investigation Order promises progress, while also posing problems

By PATRICK STEPHENSON , BRUSSELS – As criminals and terrorists refine and expand their transnational networks, European police operations have remained frustratingly national, particularly for obtaining evidence regarding cross-border investigations. Even in terrorism cases, police cooperation between European member states can be fraught with jurisdictional issues, legal differences and communication problems. To streamline the transfer of evidence from one EU nation to another, the EU created the European Investigation Order (EIO) in 2014. Its purpose: to simplify and standardise cooperation between judicial authorities, speed up investigations and thus help prevent crimes and terrorist attacks before they happen. The directive officially entered force on 22 May 2017 and the European Commission is now evaluating how the member states have transposed the EIO into national law. So far, the verdict is…

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EU leaders’ decisions augur big developments for European defence policy, with wider implications for other sectors as well

By PATRICK STEPHENSON and BROOKS TIGNER, BRUSSELS – After decades of procrastination, national leaders at their 22-23 June summit here took decisions that now set the stage for the EU’s entry into the defence field, though any talk of an imminent “European” army is fantasy. Nonetheless, important policy proposals by the European Commission were approved. The member states themselves finally agreed to finance their diverse battlegroups to boost the EU’s common security and defence policy (CSDP), for example, while approving plans – far more radical – to allow self-selected EU countries to shift into “permanent structured cooperation” (PESCO) in defence. But these were just some of the approved measures. An interesting coda to these decisions will be their impact on the EU’s...