Written by Rafał Mańko,
EU law is applied on a daily basis by national judges in the Member States, who rely on assistance from the EU Court of Justice only in the most complicated cases. Judges otherwise interpret and apply EU law on their own. In the European area of freedom, security and justice, national courts are expected to cooperate ever more closely, as part of judicial cooperation in civil matters (including e.g. family law or company law) and judicial cooperation in criminal matters (e.g. European arrest warrant or cooperation in gathering evidence in cross-border criminal cases).
The justice programme seeks to contribute to the further development of a European area of justice. This area is based on two fundamental pillars: firstly, the mutual recognition of judicial decisions from various Member States, and secondly, the promotion of mutual trust between national judiciaries across the Union. The programme provides financial support for a wide array of actions, including analytical activities (research, collection of data, surveys etc.), training activities (including staff exchanges, workshops and seminars), mutual learning, support for national judiciaries, and European-level networks.
The justice programme is endowed with a budget of €377.6 million for the 2014-2020 period, with around 34 % of this to be spent on judicial training, 32 % on access to justice, 29 % on judicial cooperation and 5 % on the drugs prevention policy. Items financed by the justice programme include the EU’s membership in the Hague Conference on Private International Law, EU cooperation with the Council of Europe with regard to human rights protection, implementation of the e-Justice platform, as well as collaboration between judiciaries within the framework of the European Judicial Training Network, on top of numerous projects aimed at enhancing the quality of the judiciaries of EU Member States in the field of civil and criminal procedure.
Read the complete briefing on ‘How the EU budget is spent: Justice Programme (2014-2020)‘.