EU Criminal Law Policy Under The Lisbon Treaty

  • O.O. Kotsubei
Keywords: criminal law policy, Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, sphere of freedom, security and justice


The new provisions introduced by the Lisbon Treaty provide flexibility and thus eliminate many questions about whether the EU can be empowered to act in any area of criminal law. However, its powers and tools raise other issues. First, the Lisbon reforms demonstrate an agreement to disagree on whether centralized action should form a major part of national legislation. Although the application of mutual recognition as a constitutional standard implies that Member States remain at the forefront of law enforcement, the Lisbon Treaty clearly allows for future decisions on the centralization of powers in EU institutions such as Europol and Eurojust. It also does not provide for unconditional criminal jurisdiction, but imposes some restrictions. Directives are also a problem as a legal instrument by which the Union can establish minimum rules. Given the significant limitations of the Directive as a tool and the potential lack of direct impact on instruments containing minimum rules, the question arises as to whether any provisions in the section on Freedom, Security and Justice can allow the creation of directly applicable criminal law in the form of regulations. acts, or whether it is possible to use these or other powers that are allegedly outside the scope of this section to circumvent the references to the directives. In addition, it should not be forgotten that the TFEU provides for exclusive, shared and supportive competences in the field of criminal law policy.