Action 21: IT platform for exchange of electronic evidence between judicial authorities

Aim: The e-Evidence Digital Exchange system concerns the establishment of a secure decentralised system between competent Member State authorities, allowing them to communicate swiftly and expediently with respect to electronic exchanges in the context of the European Investigation Order (EIO) and the various Mutual Legal Assistance instruments (MLA) in the criminal law field.

Potential of action

In line with the EU security agenda, and in order to effectively combat cybercrime, there is a need to improve the possibilities for judicial authorities in different Member States to exchange electronic evidence between them. Consequently, the Council Conclusions of 9 June 2016 have called for the establishment of "a secure online portal" for requests and responses concerning electronic evidence. To respond to this request, the Commission is working together with Member States to set up a platform with a secure communication channel for digital exchanges of requests for e-evidence and replies between EU judicial authorities under the Directive on the European Investigation Order. Such a platform would facilitate and speed up judicial cooperation in penal cases, like anti-terrorism, organised crime among others.

Description of action

The Commission has set up a Project team of Member States' experts to develop the specifications for the e-evidence platform. It has been agreed that the platform should be decentralised using the e-CODEX system as the tool for secure transmission of data. e-CODEX is a decentralised IT system. It is a secure "pipeline" connecting Member States' national systems. For e-Evidence it will enable the secure exchange of requests for and evidence between judicial authorities.

The Commission has prepared a reference implementation solution for those Member States who presently do not have this capacity (eEDES), which they can than install nationally. The platform's functional specifications have been adopted in February 2018 and work has proceeding with the implementation of the reference implementation solution and interconnection activities. In December 2019, the Commission opened to the Member States a demonstrative multilingual site of the first version of eEDES. Member State practitioners are able to access the system similarly to the way they will use it in production environment. The “production ready” version of the Reference Implementation was made available to Member States as of April 2020. It is expected that the first live exchanges will take place as of the second semester of 2020. The first Member State which will likely go live are: AT, BE, DK, ES, FI, LV, MT and PT.

Main responsible at the European Commission

DG JUST

Start date: 2017

Target date: 2019

Status: Completed. (As of April 2020)

More info (website):

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