Abstract: As European Union competences gradually increase, criminal law is one of the areas of EU law on which most attention is focused. At the heart of this field, criminal procedural law is made particularly interesting by its position at the intersection of two sectors that were traditionally excluded from the European Union’s harmonisation competences: criminal law and procedural law. Harmonisation and the “cross-fertilisation” of criminal procedural law is happening first through the influence of technical and institutional adjustments necessary to improve communication and cooperation between judicial authorities or to accommodate new actors such as the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), second through the establishment of common (or, in any case, compatible) procedural standards as a necessary complement in order to ensure the efficiency of cooperation mechanisms. Although the agenda set in the Tampere8 and Stockholm9 programmes remains the main source of inspiration for EU interventions in criminal procedural law, the changing political landscape has led to greater importance being given to topics such as terrorism and the need to preserve the rule of law. This Special Section is the result of a conference held at the University of Nantes on 6 and 7 February 2020, titled Towards European Criminal Procedural Law. It includes most of the papers presented at the event, focusing on two main themes: the systemic requirements for a European law of criminal procedure and the different instruments and rules contributing to the emergence of this new field of European law.
Keywords: European criminal law – criminal procedure – EPPO – judicial cooperation – mutual recognition – rule of law.
* Associate Professor, University of Nantes, email@example.com. I would like to thank European Papers, and in particular Gareth Davies and Stefano Montaldo, for their interest in this project and all their help and valuable feedback throughout the publication process.