The EuroPris expert group on the transfer of prisoners was established in 2012 to assist members with the implementation of EC Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA. Since then, the group has been meeting annually to exchange knowledge and information relating to transfers. With thanks to support from the European Commission, the invitation to attend expert group meetings was extended in 2015 beyond EuroPris membership to include all EU Member States.
- Access the most up to date information on the status of EU Framework Decisions 909, 947, 829.
- Access information and contact details for Competent Authorities under the Framework Decision 909 via EJN Judicial Atlas. Choose the country and select 903 for Framework Decisions 2008/909/JHA, 904 for Framework Decision 2008/947/JHA and 905 for Framework Decision 2009/829/JHA.
- Previous meeting reports of the EuroPris FD909 expert group – 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 2019, 2020, 2021
- Information form to accompany prisoner transfer, developed by the EuroPris FD909 expert group
- Access the e-learning platform developed under the STEPS2 Resettlement project for authorities responsible for the decision making regarding the transfer of the execution of custodial sentences
- Information booklet for prisoners transferring under Framework Decision 909, developed under the STEPS2 Resettlement project
- Summary information regarding transfer process under Framework Decision 909, developed under the STEPS2 Resettlement project
- Transposition FD 909 per member state (in French language)
- Resources Book – Transfer of Sentenced Prisoners Access the resource book that brings together practical recommendations, best practice and resources developed to assist with the transfer of sentenced prisoners.
- Country factsheet on prison sentence execution Information sheets on prison conditions in EU countries.
- Summary of a presentation given by the European Judicial Network (EJN) at the 51st Plenary meeting of the EJN, on the application of mutual recognition instruments.
- The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany have collaborated on a project, looking at the cross border execution of sentences within the European Union, focussing on the Belgian, Dutch and German legal framework. Click here to download a copy of the study, a step-by-step guide on FD909 and FD947 and observations and recommendations (Versions are available in English, Belgian, Dutch and German)
Expert Group Meeting 2021
The 2021 expert group meeting was held via Zoom on 28 September 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions. Experts were representatives of the authority responsible for the transfer of foreign national prisoners which include national prison services, Ministries of Justice, Judges and Prosecutors. The meeting was chaired by Kris Van Opdenbosch (Belgium). This report, prepared by Nalini Hussain, presents a summary of the discussions. The meeting was about updating representatives on the European Judicial Network (EJN), on the European Commission, and how member states find contact details for competent authorities. There was also a presentation on a research project called The cross-border dimension of punishment in the EU. An integrated approach: criminal law, penology and immigration.
Expert Group Meeting 2020
The annual EuroPris FD909 meeting was held on 23 September 2020. Unfortunately due to COVID-19, the meeting was held via Zoom rather than the physical meeting planned to take place at the Leuven Institute in Belgium. Due to technical difficulties on the day, co-chair Kris Opdenbosch (Belgium) was unable to join the meeting. Luckily, Graham Wilkinson (guest moderator from the UK), was able to step in and co-chair along with Kirsten Hawlitschek (EuroPris). The event was attended by experts from 16 Member States as well as representatives from the European Judicial Network (EJN), Maastricht University and the EuroPris Secretariat.
Given the current climate, unsurprisingly there were discussions around COVID-19 and specifically, the impact the pandemic has had on arranging surrenders under European Arrest Warrants and managing the expectations of prisoners. There was a group discussion led by the Netherlands on whether Member States (MS) inform victims of crime about the transfer of a prisoner, how MS determine whether a prisoner has enough social ties and whether MS consider prison conditions of other MS before sending a transfer application (certificate).
The EJN gave an update on their discussions in recent meetings surrounding COVID-19 and the practical issues in relation to FD909 as well a presentation on the EJN conclusions on Mutual Recognition Instruments 2018/2019. See below for a copy of the summary of discussions and the presentation.
Also, an interesting presentation was given by Maastricht University on the empirical results from the EU research project CrossBES on prisoner transfers between the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. A copy of the presentation and accompanying leaflet can be found below.
The meeting ended with summing up by Kirsten Hawlitschek and Graham Wilkinson.
Expert Group Meeting 2019
The annual EuroPris FD909 meeting was held on 25 and 26 September 2019 at the Leuven Institute, Leuven, Belgium. The meeting was chaired by Kris Opdenbosch (Belgium) and Kirsten Hawlitschek (EuroPris). The event was attended by experts from 19 Member States as well as representatives from the European Commission, the Irish Prison Service, Amapola Progretti, the General Secretariat of the European Council and the EuroPris Secretariat.
On Day 1, the morning consisted of world café discussion tables with experts engaging in lively exchange of best practice and issues pertaining to transfer of foreign nationals. In the afternoon, a presentation was given on Amapola Progretti’s EU Rehabilitation Project as well as a presentation by the European Council and a presentation by Spain on FD909 from a Spanish perspective.
Day 2 started with a presentation from the Irish Prison Service on transfers to and from the Republic of Ireland under the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. Afterwards, a general discussion was held on prisoner transfer issues. The event ended with Kris Opdenbosch summing up the two-day event.
Expert Group Meeting 2018
The annual EuroPris FD909 meeting was held in Brussels on 26 and 27 September 2018 at the Belgian Prison Service Headquarters in Brussels. The meeting which was chaired by Graham Wilkinson (England & Wales) and Katja Đogović (Finland). The event was attended by experts from 23 Member States as well as representatives from the European Commission and the EuroPris Secretariat.
On Day 1, the morning consisted of world café discussion tables with experts engaging in lively exchange of best practice and issues pertaining to transfer of foreign nationals. In the afternoon, individual presentations were given by the Netherlands and the UK on the care and transfer of mentally disordered prisoners in relation to FD909 and France presented on FD909 from a French perspective.
Day 2 started with an update on e-CODEX from Ernst Steigenga. Afterwards, a general discussion was held on prisoner transfer issues followed by a presentation by Romania on FD909 from a Romanian perspective. The event ended with Katja Đogović summing up the two-day event.
Expert Group Meeting 2017
The 2017 expert group meeting was held on 24 & 25 April at the Belgian Prison Service Headquarters in Brussels. 28 experts joined the meeting on Day 1 chaired by Graham Wilkinson (England & Wales) and Katja Đogović (Finland). All EU Member States were invited (22 were represented) along with experts from 3 countries (Albania, Norway and Turkey) who complete transfers under the Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on Transfer of Sentence Prisoners. The morning consisted of world café discussion tables with experts engaging in lively exchange of best practice and issues pertaining to transfer of foreign nationals. In the afternoon, the group discussed proposed amendments to Additional Protocol and received an update on e-CODEX from Ernst Steigenga. On Day 2, experts from EU Member States provided feedback to Jesca Beneder of the European Commission on the Draft Legal Handbook to accompany Framework Decision 909 that is in development, expected to be published in 2018.
Expert Group Meeting 2016
On 09 and 10 May 2016, EuroPris and the European Commission jointly hosted the expert group for the transfer of sentenced prisoners under Framework Decision 909. Building on the previous EuroPris expert group meetings on the subject, all Member States were invited to attend for an EU-wide discussion on common issues, processes and practices in using the Framework Decision. In total 24 Member States were represented.
EuroPris chaired the first day and the agenda included small group discussions between Member States focusing on experiences of working with one another as issuing/receiving state; overcoming practical problems; producing information sheets on prison processes within each country; and, how Member States and Competent Authorities might use the European Prison Information System (EPIS) hosted by EuroPris to access and exchange information.
The meeting on 10 May was hosted by the European Commission at the Albert Borschette Conference Center and chaired by Olivier Tell – Head of B1, Directorate-General for Justice. Topics discussed included the recent ECJ judgement on detention conditions, time limits, as well as, documents and communications required to enable transfer. Presentations were given by Michael Meysman, University of Ghent on the Framework Decision 909 Handbook that the EC are drafting, Graham Wilkinson, National Offender Management Service (England & Wales) on the STEPS 2 Resettlement project and Jonas Grimheden, Fundamental Rights Agency. Jonas Grimheden’s presentation on ‘Detention: information, rehabilitation and victims’ rights’ is available here.
EuroPris is also working on updating the FD 909 Expert Group pages to enable the country information sheets to be easily accessible.
Expert Group Meeting September 2015
In September 2015, EuroPris hosted the second of the 2015 expert working groups on EC Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA. The first meeting was held on 6/7 July in Brussels and was attended by representatives from 13 countries. This second meeting took place in The Hague and was attended by participants from a further 11 countries. At the end of September 2015, 25 Member States had implemented the Framework Decision 909.
For the 2015 expert group meetings, EuroPris invited experts from countries that are members of EuroPris, as well as non-member countries so to broaden the discussion between Member States. This enabled experts from countries who have recently implemented, the opportunity to meet and discuss prisoner transfers with their counterparts who have experience of using the Framework Decision – some of whom had attended previous working groups.
The agenda was the same as for the July meeting and discussions ranged from completion of the certificate to practical transfer arrangements, prison conditions and legal challenges. Given the close alignment between STEPS2 Resettlement and the discussion points for the expert group, representatives were invited to update on the progress of development of the Offender Handbook, Victims Issues and Data Transfer elements of the project. Olga de Vries presented the e-learning to 9 participants prior to the meeting, and gained valuable feedback on the e-learning programme that has been developed as a training tool for practitioners on the transfer process.
Following a presentation by Wendy de Bondt from Ghent University, the experts engaged in a detailed conversation regarding data exchanges between competent authorities. This provided useful insights for the project staff on the use of transferring information relevant to risk and information necessary for the transfer. As an aide, experts also agreed to utilise the Prisoner Information Document, developed by EuroPris to consider information needed for the practical transfer arrangements.
The experts also gave valuable feedback to the work led by NOMS for information documents that are being developed for prisoners, to inform them of the transfer process.
With agreement from the experts, EuroPris are going to collate statistics on the use of the Framework Decision and numbers of EU national prisoners held in each Member State. This is the first time this information will be centrally gathered and will be useful for facilitating further discussions on the process and identifying working relationships between the Member States who have high proportions of foreign national prisoners.
Expert Group Meeting 2015
Since 2012, EuroPris has been exploring the impact of the transfer of prisoners under the EC Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA and supported the EuroPris members administrations by sharing the challenges and obstacles in implementing the legislation and in undertaking practical transfers. As the implementation deadline passed at the end of 2014, EuroPris decided to invite in 2015 experts from the central authorities of all 28 EU Member States. The first meeting with representatives from 13 countries took place in Brussels on 6 & 7 July. The meeting focused on legal challenges and obtaining of prisoners consent, on completion of the transfer certificates and timing, on practical transfer arrangements, sentence adaptation, prison conditions, on the use of FD 909 in conjunction with the EAW, on early release schemes and collection of transfer data and of numbers of detainees from the different European countries.
The STEPS 2 Resettlement project, as cooperation of England & Wales, Spain, Romania, Italy and Belgium is dealing with practical transfer problems, with information exchange – what kind of information is needed and how can it be digitally transferred, with victims issues, social rehabilitation practices and with training for judges/prosecutors/competent authorities, all in relation to this Framework Decision. Since this project is so much related to the work of this expert group we used the opportunity to link both of them. Before the start of the meeting an e-learning module on how to complete the transfer certificate and all related issues was tested by participants from 8 countries. During the meeting NOMS presented the development of the offender handbook consisting of general FD 909 information and a template for country specific information. The university of Ghent shared their work on the collection and transfer of data. Also the EC e-CODEX project that will start piloting digital exchange of FD 909 related data between EU MS later this year was introduced.
The second meeting on this subject with representatives of the other EU Member States will take place on 28/29 September in The Hague. After that a comprehensive report of the discussions will be shared with the participants and in the EuroPris newsletter and on our website.
Since 2012, EuroPris has been exploring the impact of the transfer of prisoners under FD 2008/909/JHA to examine the challenges and obstacles in implementing the legislation and undertaking practical transfers as well as the subsequent lessons learnt. EuroPris has already and will continue to provide recommendations on how to progress, how Member States’ implementation can be supported and importantly, how the organisation aims to support the European Commission in speeding up the process of implementation.
EuroPris have published a report detailing conclusions and recommendations from an expert group comprising members of European jurisdictions with regards to the exchange of prisoners under the Framework Decision 909.
Click here to download the report.
The EuroPris expert group on the Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA – Transfer of prisoners met in Brussels on 23rd and 24th September 2014 to discuss matters relating to the effective transfer of prisoners under this FD. The group were hosted by EuroPris at their office in the headquarters of the Belgium Prison Service. This is the third meeting of this group in relation to the FD 909.The workshop was attended by representatives from seven Member States that had either already transposed this Framework Decision or were going through the process to complete its introduction into their law. The meeting was also attended by the policy lead from the European Commission.
The aim of the workshop was to discuss the practicalities of using this Framework Decision and transferring prisoners from one jurisdiction to another. Topics under discussion included: the state of play with regards to the implementation of the FD by the Member States present and an update from across the European Union.
The full report can be downloaded here.
In February 2014 Olivier Tell provided a report from the European Commission on the implementation of Framework Decisions 2008/909/JHA, 2008/947/JHA, and 2009/829/JHA. Click here to download the report.
A working document for staff has also been produced to help provide guidance and an overview of the State of Play. A press release was also issued to European states outlining the importance of implementation of the Framework Decisions.
On 13th November 2013 a meeting with EU Member States’ experts on the implementation of the Framework Decisions 2008/909/JHA (Transfer of Prisoners), 2008/947/JHA (Probation and Alternative Sanctions) and 2009/829/JHA (European Supervision Order) was held in Brussels and was well attended by Member States representatives. It was an opportunity for them to report on the ‘state of play’ with regard to implementation of the Framework decision into law. EuroPris was present and reported on the recent 909 expert group. A report was published on the findings and discussion.
Click here to access the report from the meeting.
On 29 and 30 August 2013 this EuroPris expert group met in Brussels to discuss a number of topics surrounding the implementation of the FD 909 on the Transfer of Prisoners. The workshop was attended by representatives from 5 Member States that had already transposed this Framework Decision and a representative from the European Commission. The Group recognised that it was still early days in terms of the implementation of the Framework Decision although most experts now had experience of transferring prisoners both into and out of their countries. Based on this experience, the experts made a number of recommendations intended to help improve the process for both prisoners and those officials involved in the transfer process. These recommendations focus largely, although not exclusively, on the provision of information.
To view these recommendations click here.
To access an information form to accompany prisoners on inter-jurisdictional transfer click here.