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Working with EU partners to enhance cross-border cooperation and combat cross-border crime

Criminal justice policy initiatives and legislation at European level have a real, direct and increasing impact on Scotland.

People in Scotland benefit from co-operation between our police and justice agencies and their counterparts in other EU countries.  For example: through participation in the European Arrest Warrant which ensures criminals can be pursued and brought to justice across EU borders; through our prosecution authorities' engagement with Eurojust, which facilitates the investigation and prosecution of cross border serious organised crime throughout the EU; and through our work with Europol, the EU’s law enforcement agency.

We don’t want Scotland to be seen as a safe haven for criminals. We also need to make sure that Scots can benefit from consistency of judicial proceedings and mutual recognition in criminal matters across the EU.

Victims of crime – wherever they are in the EU - need to have the right kind of protection and support.  We also need to help protect the basic rights of suspects and accused persons in criminal proceedings.

That is why Scotland needs to take a proactive role ensuring Scottish criminal justice interests are represented at the European level.



  • work collaboratively with Scottish justice organisations and engage positively with EU criminal justice partners to ensure the success of the Justice Strategy for Scotland and the Digital Strategy for Justice in Scotland.
  • work closely with other EU Member States to protect the public and tackle cross-border crime, including through participation in co-operative institutions such as Europol and Eurojust.
  • attend Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council meetings and working groups to ensure Scotland’s voice can be heard directly.
  • work closely with the UK Government on devolved and reserved justice and home affairs issues, for example to help the victims of crime and the protect the rights of suspects and accused.
  • implement EU legislation into Scots law correctly to ensure that Scotland is seen as a competent, trusted partner.

Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) is one of four key areas of focus through the Scottish Government's Action Plan on European Engagement.

Legislation and consultation

Current and recent EU criminal justice related legislation, associated documents and consultations: