The Committee of Permanent Representatives at the Council of the European Union (COREPER) has approved the EU's IT agency eu-LISA, located in Tallinn, as the seat of the EU cross-border data exchange channel e-CODEX.
On Thursday, the position it was agreed that e-CODEX will be located at the Tallinn-based eu-LISA, which is an EU agency established to manage IT systems in the fields of internal affairs and justice. The decision will be followed by trialogue negotiations in the European Parliament.
"The fact that e-CODEX will be located in Estonia is very welcome, as the digitalization of the field of justice is one of the priorities of this government," Estonia's Justice Minister Maris Lauri (Reform) said.
"The decision is also significant in the sense that this platform will allow for easier and more convenient exchange of data with different member states in both civil and criminal matters. This, in turn, will bring legal possibilities closer to citizens, businesses, lawyers and public officials," the minister said.
The further development and management of the system will take place at eu-LISA in Estonia. This will lead to the expansion of eu-LISA in Tallinn, including the creation of additional jobs.
Background on e-CODEX can be found here on the e-CODEX website and ERR News has republished some questions and answers below.
What is e-CODEX?
The mission of e-CODEX is to make cross-border justice accessible for all citizens and businesses within the EU.
Why is e-CODEX needed?
Approximately 10 million people are currently involved in cross-border civil proceedings. e-CODEX provides them with easy access to legal means and boosts judicial cooperation by improving the interoperability between legal authorities within the European Union.
The judicial sector has been lagging behind in terms of digitalizing procedures and cross-border cooperation. In an increasingly digital society, cross-border judicial cooperation relies on e-Justice solutions to facilitate the interaction between different national and European actors in legal procedures. e-CODEX offers a European digital infrastructure for secure cross-border communication and information exchange in criminal and civil law.
Modern information and communication technology will make the justice system more efficient and helps people assert their rights more quickly and easily.
What types of services does e-CODEX offer?
Services provided by e-CODEX allow secure communication and information exchange between the Member States in the field of justice. The broader vision of e-CODEX is that any citizen or legal professional in the European Union could communicate electronically with any legal authority, including communication of legal authorities with each other.
The e-CODEX system is presently being implemented for European investigation and payment orders, small claims procedures, the mutual recognition of financial penalties and for custodial sentences. In addition, experts are exploring e-CODEX as the transmission system for the secure exchange of electronic evidence between judicial authorities in criminal matters.
Who maintains and operates e-CODEX?
e-CODEX is currently maintained by an international consortium of EU Member States, European chambers of legal professionals and other institutions. e-CODEX is mostly funded by different grants of the European Commission. However, the consortium aims at establishing a long-term sustainable solution by handing e-CODEX over to an established institution with the European Commission.
As e-CODEX is a decentralized system every participant needs to install its own instance of the e-CODEX components nationally. Therefore the operation of the running system has to be done by the e-CODEX participants itself.
Editor: Helen Wright