Spain starts the electronic transmission system of European Investigation Orders
- The first exchange took place between the Juzgado Central number 5 of the Audiencia Nacional (Spain) and the Cologne Prosecutor's Office in Germany.
- It has carried out through the e-EDES Portal, whose implementation has been led by Spain, providing support to other countries.
- It will enable judicial authorities to send and receive documents and information electronically in a fast, secure and confidential manner.
24 May 2022.- Spain has started the electronic transmission system of European Investigation Orders (EIO), being the first Member State of the European Union to send one of them outside the testing phase. The first exchange took place on 18 May, between the Juzgado Central number 5 of the Audiencia Nacional and the Prosecutor's Office in Cologne (Germany).
This represents a new milestone in modernising communication in the context of cross-border judicial proceedings between national systems. It will enable the competent judicial authorities to send and receive documents and information electronically in a fast, secure and confidential manner.
The EIO pilot programme for electronic exchange between judicial authorities in different Member States was launched earlier this year, using the e-CODEX platform.
It is part of an international project developed by the Ministry of Justice to ensure the transmission of this instrument of mutual criminal recognition through a secure channel. Part of this project is the Unit of the Office of the Prosecutor for International Legal Cooperation, the Juzgado Central number 5 of the Audiencia Nacional, the Juzgado de Instrucción number 4 of Torremolinos and the Juzgado de Instrucción number 32 of Madrid.
EIOs are managed through the e-EDES portal, which belongs to the European Commission. The implementation of this portal has been led by Spain, which has provided support to other countries. Currently, there are four states that already have it operational: Spain, Germany, Portugal and Latvia. This year, other countries will be joining the EU's 27 Member States.
EIOs are an instrument for mutual recognition of criminal decisions in the European Union. Issued or validated by the competent authority of one Member State of the European Union, they are aimed at carrying out investigative measures in another Member State, in order to obtain useful evidence in criminal proceedings. This instrument also allows for the transmission of evidence or investigative measures already available by the competent authorities of the executing Member State.
Before the use of the e-EDES portal, the EIOs have been carried out by conventional post or e-mail. Even in cases considered “sensitive and exceptional", they required the physical displacement of a person.
The digitisation of the EIO exchange process will connect all 27 Member States, with co-financing through EU funds. It has many advantages as it is a tool developed and maintained by the European Commission, which guarantees the consistency of existing European laws; implements EIO management processes, according to the European directive; implements legal response times; and it helps to identify the receiver.
Among its benefits are the immediacy in delivery and reception; the use of a secure and encrypted channel, which leaves no traces; the continued existence of legal evidence of the consignments, as evidence of the participation of the sender and addressee; or creating a history that reflects the entire process and actions taken.
Currently, the e-EDES portal already implements other international judicial cooperation instruments such as MLAs for mutual legal assistance, or ITNs (Telecommunications Intervention Notification). It is also expected that the portal will support the exchange of SoD (serving of documents) and ToE (taking of evidence) in the future.