Approximation of substantive criminal law in the EU - EUB

Approximation of substantive criminal law in the EU

The way forward
First Edition

This book dedicated to the substantive criminal law in the EU put the Libson Treaty under scrutiny. It evaluates the changes introduced by this new Treaty and their impact, before reflecting on future prospects. Read More

The European Union’s efforts to approximate substantive criminal law began under the third pillar of the Maastricht Treaty, then amended by the Amsterdam and Nice Treaties. As with other areas of cooperation in criminal matters, this domain has been ‘communitarised’ by the Lisbon Treaty. Since then, it is the area where the most initiatives have been introduced.

In this context, the purpose of the book is twofold. The first aim is to evaluate the changes introduced by the new Treaty and, three years after its entry into force, to provide an overview of the concrete implementation and practical impact of these changes. The second is to reflect on future prospects.

Following an introduction, which identifies the institutional and decision-making changes resulting from the Lisbon Treaty and examines the novel interactions among European actors, the book is divided into two main sections.

The first one develops a crosscutting approach, which can be applied to the approximation of substantive criminal law irrespective of any specific domain of analysis. It draws together reflections on the importance of fundamental principles of criminal law; on the so-called annex-competence provided for by Article 83(2) TFEU; on the role of the approximation of substantive criminal law with a view to the establishment of a European Public Prosecutor’s Office; and on the development of a general substantive criminal law for the EU. 

The focus of the second part of the book is on evaluating the impact of EU approximation instruments in three selected areas (drug trafficking, terrorist offences and trafficking in human beings). In cases where successive EU instruments have been adopted over time, this second part will assess whether and to what extent evaluation processes had an impact on the drafting of subsequent provisions.

The edited volume ends with concluding remarks on the way forward.

This book has been co-written by an international team mainly composed of academics and researchers who are members of ECLAN (the European Criminal Law Academic Network).

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Éditions de l'Université de Bruxelles
Edited by
Francesca Galli, Anne Weyembergh,
Introduction by
Anne Weyembergh, Serge de Biolley,
Contributions by
Jeroen Blomsma, Pedro Caeiro, Cornelis De Jong, Francesca Galli, Maria Kaiafa-Gbandi, Robert Kert, Andrea Lehner, Miguel Ângelo Lemos, Katalin Ligeti, Christina Peristeridou, Gisèle Vernimmen-Van Tiggelen, John A. E. Vervaele, Anne Weyembergh,
European Studies
Supporting Website
Publisher Category
Publishers own classification > Law
BISAC Subject Heading
LAW026000 LAW / Criminal Law
Onix Audience Codes
06 Professional and scholarly
CLIL (Version 2013-2019)
3259 DROIT
Subject Scheme Identifier Code
Thema subject category: Criminal law: procedure and offences


Publication Date
23 September 2013
Main content page count : 256
160 x 240 x 12 cm
463 grams
Version 2.1, Version 3

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INTRODUCTION – Approximation of substantive criminal law: The new institutional and decision-making framework and new types of interaction between EU actors | Anne WEYEMBERGH (in collaboration with Serge DE BIOLLEY)
The European Parliament Resolution of 22 May 2012 on a EU approach to criminal law | Dr. Cornelis DE JONG
Harmonised Union policies and the harmonisation of substantive criminal law | John A. E. VERVAELE
Approximation of substantive criminal law and the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor's Office | Katalin LIGETI
Approximation of substantive criminal law provisions in the EU and fundamental principles of criminal law | Maria KAIAFA-GBANDI
The way forward: A general part of European criminal law | Jeroen H. BLOMSMA & Christina PERISTERIDOU
Introductory reflection on evaluation and its lacunae | Gisèle VERNIMMEN-VAN TIGGELEN
Content and impact of approximation: The case of terrorist offences (Council Framework Decisions of 2002 and 2008) | Pedro CAEIRO and Miguel Ângelo LEMOS
Content and impact of approximation – The case of drug trafficking | Robert KERT & Andrea LEHNER
The content and impact of approximation: The case of trafficking in human beings | Francesca GALLI
CONCLUSION – The way forward | Anne WEYEMBERGH
List of contributors