Eurojust Third Country Agreements

Eurojust Third Country Agreements: Enhancing Judicial Cooperation Beyond EU Borders

The European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation, commonly known as Eurojust, has recently signed several agreements with third countries to strengthen cooperation in fighting serious and organized crime. These so-called third country agreements aim to facilitate the exchange of information and evidence, as well as the coordination of investigations and prosecutions, between EU Member States and non-EU countries.

What are Third Country Agreements?

Third country agreements are bilateral or multilateral instruments concluded by Eurojust with non-EU countries, which aim to establish a legal framework for cooperation in criminal matters. The agreements cover a wide range of areas, such as:

– Mutual legal assistance, which allows the competent authorities of the signatory countries to exchange information and evidence, including documents, witnesses, and experts, in order to facilitate criminal investigations and prosecutions.

– Joint investigation teams, which enable the competent authorities of two or more countries to work together on a specific criminal case, regardless of national borders, and to share resources, expertise, and information.

– Transfer of proceedings, which allows the transfer of ongoing criminal proceedings from one country to another in order to ensure effective prosecution and to avoid duplication of judicial activities.

– Conviction and sentence transfers, which allow a person convicted in one country to serve their sentence in another country, and vice versa, under certain conditions.

– Asset recovery, which aims to recover the proceeds of crime, such as money, property, and other assets, and to return them to their rightful owners or to the public treasury.

– Training and capacity building, which aim to enhance the skills and knowledge of law enforcement and judicial authorities in the signatory countries, to promote best practices and standards, and to improve the overall quality of criminal justice systems.

Why are Third Country Agreements important?

Third country agreements are crucial for enhancing judicial cooperation between EU Member States and non-EU countries, for several reasons:

– They help to address cross-border crime, which often involves criminal activities that span multiple jurisdictions and require coordinated efforts to combat them effectively.

– They ensure that no safe havens exist for criminals, as they can be pursued and prosecuted wherever they go, and as their assets can be frozen and seized wherever they are located.

– They promote the rule of law, by ensuring that criminals are brought to justice and that victims are protected and compensated, regardless of their nationality or place of residence.

– They foster trust and confidence among law enforcement and judicial authorities, by providing a clear legal framework for cooperation and by promoting mutual understanding and respect.

– They provide a platform for sharing knowledge and experience, and for developing innovative solutions to common challenges, such as cybercrime, terrorism, and organized crime.

Which countries have signed Third Country Agreements with Eurojust?

Eurojust has signed third country agreements with several countries and regions, such as:

– United States of America

– Canada

– Norway

– Switzerland

– Liechtenstein

– Iceland

– Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia)

Each agreement has its own scope, objectives, and terms, depending on the needs and interests of the signatory countries. Eurojust also engages in dialogue and cooperation with other non-EU countries, such as Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, and Russia, with a view to exploring the possibilities for future cooperation.


Eurojust third country agreements are a valuable tool for enhancing judicial cooperation between the EU and non-EU countries, and for combating serious and organized crime on a global scale. They offer a range of legal instruments and practical solutions for addressing cross-border crime, promoting the rule of law, and building trust and confidence among law enforcement and judicial authorities. By working together, EU Member States and their partners in third countries can ensure that no safe havens exist for criminals and that justice is served for the benefit of all.