33 participants from 17 countries gathered in Brussels, Belgium for the 4th edition of the Framework Decisions Expert Meeting on the 25th of September 2018. The meeting was organised to support and promote the implementation of the Framework Decisions throughout Europe and make recommendations/actions on how to enhance the implementation. The meeting was kindly hosted by Maisons de Justice, the probation service for the French speaking part of Belgium.
Since the last Expert Meeting in September 2017, CEP has worked hard on the actions that were agreed upon during this meeting. A questionnaire was send out and an analysis was made. CEP also produced a leaflet for the offenders, an informative guideline for probation officers and an animation video about the framework decisions on probation. These were presented during the meeting by CEP Policy Officer Maria Lindström. These are all preliminary versions of the materials. After the meeting, the participants are given the chance to suggest improvements.
Prof. Ioan Durnescu presented the new project “Probation Observatory Training and Network (PONT), which will start soon. The project aims at mapping and identifying local networks that work together in the EU Framework Decisions, and to provide training to them. He also presented a Framework Decision 2008/947 case study. After having presented the case, Ioan emphasized the importance for offenders to know what to expect regarding their supervision in another country. In fact, if there is not enough information that can be provided to them and if they are not fully aware of what to expect, is it really possible for them to agree on a transfer?
The final presenter was Mr. Ralph Bunche, Regional Director Europe of Fair Trials. He told the participants about the project Beyond Surrender. This EU-wide project that has looked into the use of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) and the impact on the life of extradited people. Ralph Bunch stressed that European Arrest Warrant (EAW) is used too much in some countries where the European Supervision Order (ESO) could and should be used instead. There is an over use of the EAW instead of using the legislation with ESO that allows people to be in their home countries and which would make things more humane and better for both the person his-/herself and his/her family and/or children. After his presentation he showed the participants a short documentary about the impact of the European Arrest Warrant on the life of the person that is arrested, his or her family and children.