The Integrity of European Criminal Law Cooperation: The Nation State, the Individual, and the Area of Freedom, Security, and Justice
THE CONSTITUTIONAL INTEGRITY OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, F. Amtenbrink, P. van den Berg, eds., Asser Press, 2010
37 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2011
Date Written: August 30, 2009
It is universally true that criminal law is an area closely connected to the very core of the nation state: as well as the governing of morals and dangerous conduct, it concerns the right to punish. In other words, this is a field closely connected with the values of the nation state. Therefore, ever since the crafting of the Maastricht Treaty, the Member States have tried to keep criminal law outside the supranational arena. Such a wish was confirmed by the Amsterdam Treaty, which means that the area of criminal law and justice at the EU level has traditionally been dealt with through the notion of third pillar cooperation. Within this predominantly intergovernmentally influenced sphere, nation state sensitivity in matters of criminal law has been intended to be preserved by the adoption of the internal market concept of mutual recognition. Nevertheless, the adoption of mutual recognition within the third pillar obscures the true challenges: it is the absence of adequate safeguards for the individual and a lack of trust that prompt the concern that mutual recognition is simply not a stable or adequate model for EU criminal law cooperation.
Keywords: EU, Criminal Law, AFSJ, Trust, Citizenship
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