In the Board term that started in 2007 with the General Assembly (GA) in Tallinn, CEP has invested much time and effort in forging solid relations with the EU. Of course the implementation of the Framework Decision (FD) on Probation Measures and Alternative Sanctions was pivotal in this development. Now that the GA takes place at almost exactly the middle of the three tree-year implementation period indicated in the FD, it is seems to be the right time for a ‘mid-term review’ and see what the EU Directorate General Justice Freedom and Security (DG JFS) thinks about CEP. Thomas Ljungquist, Legislative Officer at the Criminal Justice Unit and in charge of the implementation of the FD at the DG JFS, gives his personal view. “I think CEP can be a very important partner in the implementation process.”

Since the Framework Decision was enacted in December 2008, all over Europe EU Member States have started the preparations for its implementation. “Generally spoken a framework decision is a decision which is binding on Member States as to the result to be achieved but which leaves them free to decide on the choice of methods”, Thomas Ljungquist explains. “Basically this makes the implementation of the Nevertheless the Framework Decision is not a trajectory of individual members states per se. Coordination and exchange between the different member states can definitely contribute to gearing the  different national regulations to each other,  thus reinforcing the implementation.”

In order to enhance the implementation process, but also th stimulate the international exchange, the DG JFS organises regional seminars, starting from the end of April. “In the last week of that month, the first seminar will take place in Leeuwarden, in the Netherlands”, announces Thomas Ljungquist.  “A second one will take place in the first week of June in Berlin, while the last one in the series will be held in the last week of September in Rome. In addition, the Belgian Ministry of Justice has started a project to inventory the probation measures and alternative sanctions available in each EU Member State. The results of the inventory will be presented at a conference under the Belgian presidency of the EU, which will be held from the 7th-9th July in Durbuy, in the Belgian Ardennes. Delegates from all EU Member states will be invited to come to this conference and discuss the practical implementation of the probation FD.”

Both the seminars organized by the DG JFS And by the Belgian Ministry of Justice have the object to to support the creation of a legal framework in the various Member States in which the FD can be properly executed at a national level. Therefore the seminars are targeted towards policy makers or experts in mutual recognition from relevant Ministries in the Member States. “CEP works on a different level at the implementation of the FD; that is the added value of CEP”, Thomas Ljungquist continues. “CEP unites the organisations which are practically executing the sentences of issuing states. It therefore has an overview on what is how  probation services in member States are dealing with the implementation. This enables CEP to play a coordinating role with regard to the implementation of the FD at the level of probation services, as it has done with its conference on this topic in Dublin in October 2009. this adds a new dimension to the implementation of the FD. Moreover CEP is also involved in the project of the in the Belgian Ministry of Justice and therefore it can bridge the level of legislation and the level of practice. I think that for the probation services in the EU member states this is a very valuable role. And it certainly is for the commission”

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