On the 15th of September, a delegation composed of CCBE and ECBA representatives met the European Chief Prosecutor Laura Kövesi and members of the Legal Service of EPPO. The agenda items were divided into technical issues and issues of a more political nature. 

The main arguments that were discussed on the initiative of the CCBE/ECBA delegation were:

1. Remedies in cross-border cases, including access to the case file (and the interpretation of the meaning of “case file” and the precise contents of the case file, e.g. in the assisting Member State – Article 31 - or in cases of JITs) and the issue of defensive investigations (cf. Article 41 § 3).

2. The application of procedural safeguards, including the existing limitations of the current national procedural safeguards and evidentiary issues (especially in cross-border cases)

3. Communication between the defence and prosecution, including questions which arise under Article 26 (Initiation of investigations and allocation of competences within the EPPO) or under Article 31

4. Practical application, variation and expectations regarding the role of the defence in providing legal assistance (regarding the investigative stage) and the role of lawyers as counsel of other parties (e.g. victims, companies concerned by recovery measures etc)

5. Role of “non-participating member states”.

The discussion was fruitful and in-depth, and many issues, including those of a prospective nature, were discussed in a frank atmosphere of loyal institutional cooperation between criminal justice actors. It was also suggested to organise regular exchanges on a technical and general basis, which was welcomed by the EPPO representatives. 

The ECBA was represented by Vincent Asselineau (Chair), Vânia Costa Ramos and Amedeo Barletta (Vice-Chairs) and Holger Matt (former ECBA Chair). The CCBE was represented by the President James McGuill, the Chair of the Criminal Law Committee Ondrej Laciak, Anna Oehmichen and Rosa Van Zijl, all of which are also ECBA Members.