It has been almost ten years since several of us put forward the Geneva Appeal advocating that European justice put an end to impunity. That appeal was based on the fact that international investigations required years of work due to the limitations posed by the borders. Some countries allow delays for months-some even more-of the transmission of information, offering implicated individuals the possibility to protest in the same country in which they contested during the investigative phase. Such practices protect networks of money laundering, corruption, terrorism, prostitution and pedophiles. This appeal didn’t call for citizen participation, but was an alert.

Our action at this time is inspired by the same principles and leads us to pose the following questions: what assessment can be made of the consequences of the Geneva Appeal and what perspectives does it offer the European Constitution?

After our appeal was made, there still remained much to be done, but real achievements within the European Union should be pointed out. The setting-up of connection magistrates, the creation of “Eurojust,” the adoption of new investigation techniques and the creation of the European detention mandate constitute victories in the face of very serious criminal threats (terrorism, organized crime, corruption...) that are, by their nature, transnational. The European Union has also allowed for the creation of a culture common of magistrates. The effort to construct a Europe that constitutes an “area of freedom, security and justice,” adopted by the Treaty of Amsterdam, appears in agenda 25. The Constitution incorporates the Charter of Fundamental Rights and grants it judicial force. It allows, in the realm of justice, that future decisions be made by the most qualified of the member states, avoiding the paralysis of the European institutions motivated by the application of the principle of unanimity, maintained in this respect by the Treaty of Nice.

The Constitution represents a significant advance with regard to international judicial cooperation, with regard to the struggle against organized crime. Nevertheless, in future years additional efforts will be required to guarantee their effective application.

Source: Le Monde (France) Reference: «Le oui de magistrats anticorruption», por un grupo de magistrados europeos contra la corrupción, Le Monde, 23 de mayo de 2005.