The EU as a Promoter of Preventive Criminal Justice and the Internal Security Context

S.E.M. Herlin Karnell

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper discusses the current tendency in the EU to promote a criminal justice model focusing on prevention. In doing so, I examine the EU’s internal security agenda with regard to criminal law and assess the extent to which this strategy fits the picture of an European Area of Freedom, Security and Justice placing equal value on freedom, security and justice. I also consider the external dimension to the EU’s security program by examining the extent to which the EU benefits from the dual layer of security action provided for in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the Treaty of the European Union, or whether such double action creates unnecessary complexity. I contrast the current aspirations for more security and prevention in EU criminal law with the Commission’s recent communication on the effective implementation of EU policies through criminal law. This communication stresses the importance of ensuring coherence in EU criminal law, while also respecting national diversity and serving the citizens. In addition, I discuss the extent to which the EU’s promotion of preventive criminal justice risks turning the EU into a disintegrator instead of an agent of European values (depending on what these values are intended to mean in practice).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
JournalEuropean Politics and Society
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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