The methodological approach of the project will be a combination of qualitative doctrinal research (conceptual approach), functional wide scope research and targeted knowledge enhancing / awareness raising approach. The methodology of this project does not merely include the identification of the existing implementation law of EIO in a particular country, but also gathering of information on the practical application of the EIO and the process of legal reasoning within different national systems. The latter is crucial for the project as it will reveal different approaches and various concepts in different national systems. The main research activity of the project (gathering of data from judges and prosecutors on the practical application of the Directive) will be done by the core expert group consisting of leading experts from different Member States.
Gathering data from practitioners
The main method applied in the project will be a questionnaire based research on implementation of the Directive and on the practical dilemmas that judicial authorities face every day when issuing or executing the EIO. Hence, methodologically the first task of project partners is to identify the issuing and executing authorities in their respective Member States. Once this step is concluded, the questionnaires will be sent to those authorities (judges, public prosecutors) as well as lawyers with experience on the use of the EIO.
Questionnaires will serve as a basis for national reports, and those will be a basis for a comparative analysis performed by a group of experts. All the national reports will be reviewed by an expert group with the purpose to identify and clarify critical issues, possible ambiguities or vagueness in particular cases, and to assess possible corrections in questionnaires. This will serve as a basis for final national reports which will then be analysed by a group of experts with academic and professional experience from different countries.
The dissemination activities will be performed after the bulk of the analytical and research activity will be concluded, with exception of the publication of expert articles in national languages which are not aimed at the dissemination of the accumulated knowledge but rather at general awareness raising on the importance of EIO and relevant instruments of MLA amongst legal practitioners.
Comparative legal analysis:
This methodology allows for the best results because it allows the researchers to first gather, analyse and enrich the existing best practices amongst partner Member States and after that create guidelines for practitioners in their national language. It furthermore allows for the researchers to first research best practices in various Member States and then discuss and disseminate those (foreign) best practices in their respective Member States during capacity building seminars and at the international conference.