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Encyclopedia > Europol

Europol (the name is a contraction of European Police Office) is the European Union's criminal intelligence agency. Europol became fully operational on July 1, 1999. Taken from http://europa. ... July 1 is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 183 days remaining. ... 1999 is a common year starting on Friday of the Common Era, and was designated the International Year of Older Persons by the United Nations. ...


The establishment of Europol was agreed to in the 1992 Maastricht Treaty, officially known as the Treaty on European Union (TEU) that came into effect in November 1993. The agency started limited operations on January 3, 1994, as the Europol Drugs Unit (EDU). In 1998 the Europol Convention was ratified by all the member states and came into force in October. 1992 is a leap year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Maastricht treaty (formally, the Treaty on European Union) was signed on 7 February 1992 in Maastricht between the members of the European Community and entered into force on 1 November 1993. ... 1993 is a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ... January 3 is the 3rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1994 was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International year of the Family. ... 1998 is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ...

Members of Europol are shaded in blue
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Members of Europol are shaded in blue

Europol allocates its resources (around 410 staff and 90 Europol Liaison Officers or ELOs) from its headquarters in The Hague. The size of Europol belies the fact that they are in constant liaison with hundreds of different law enforcement organisations, each with their own individual or group seconded to assist Europol's activities. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Arms of The Hague The Hague (with capital T; Dutch: Den Haag, or officially s-Gravenhage) is the administrative capital of the Netherlands, located in the west of the country, in the province South Holland of which it is also the capital. ...


Currently Europol covers cooperation in all 25 member states of the European Union, with Estonia the last of the ten new EU states to ratify the Europol Convention on July 1, 2005.


Additionally, Bulgaria and Romania are already members of Europol, even though they are only set to join the EU in 2007. This also happened with some of the Central European countries which joined the EU in 2004; they became members of Europol in 2002 to make EU membership more gradual. 2007 is a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Contents


Functions

Europol's aim is to improve the effectiveness and co-operation between the competent authorities of the member states primarily by sharing and pooling intelligence to prevent and combat serious international organised crime. Its mission is to make a significant contribution to the European Union's law enforcement efforts targeting organised crime.


Europol has no executive powers. It is a support service for the law enforcement agencies of the EU member states. This means that Europol officials are not entitled to conduct investigations in the member states or to arrest suspects. In providing support, Europol with its tools – information exchange, intelligence analysis, expertise and training – can contribute to the executive measures carried out by the relevant national authorities.


Europol is a multi-disciplinary agency, comprising not only regular police officers but staff members from the member states' various law enforcement agencies: customs, immigration services, border and financial police, etc. Secondly, Europol helps to overcome the language barriers in international police co-operation. Any law enforcement officer from a member state can address a request to their Europol National Unit (ENU) in her/his mother tongue and receive the answer back in this language.


Three different levels of co-operation are possible: The first one is technical co-operation or to provide training. The next step is strategic co-operation aimed at exchanging general trends in organised crime and how to fight it and the exchange of threat assessments. The top level of co-operation includes the exchange of personal data and requires the fulfilment of Europol's standards in the field of data protection and data security.


History

Europol has it origins in TREVI, a forum for internal security cooperation amongst EEC/EC interior and justice ministers created in 1975 and active until the Maastricht Treaty came into effect in 1993.


Germany, with its federal organisation of police forces, had long been in favour of a supranational police organisation at EC level. It tabled a surprise proposal to establish a European Police Office to the European Council meeting in Luxembourg in June 1991. By that December, the Intergovernmental Conference was coming to an end and the member states had pledged themselves to establishing Europol through Article K.1(9) of the Maastricht Treaty. Europol was given the modest role of establishing ‘a Union-wide system for exchanging information’ amongst EU police forces.


Delays in ratifying the Maastricht Treaty led to TREVI ministers agreeing a ‘Ministerial Agreement on the Europol Drugs Unit’ in June 1993. This intergovernmental agreement, outside of EU law, led to the establishment of a small team headed by Jurgen Störbeck, a senior German police officer who initially operated from some portacabins in a Strasbourg suburb (shared with personnel of the Schengen Information System) while more permanent arrangements were made. Schengen Information System, also known as SIS, is an information system used in a number of European countries that provides data on persons or objects, as recorded by the participant countries. ...


Once the Maastricht Treaty had come into effect, the slow process of negotiating and ratifying a Europol Convention began. In the meantime, the Europol Drugs Unit (EDU) had its powers extended twice, in March 1995 and again in December 1996 to included a range of trafficking offences in its remit. During this period, information amongst officers could only be exchanged bilaterally, with a central database to be established once the Europol Convention was ratified. The Europol Convention finally came into effect in October 1998 after ratification by all 15 EU national parliaments though some outstanding legal issues (primarily data protection supervision and judicial supervision) ensured it could not formally take up duties until July 1999.


Authorities

Europol's Director is appointed by the unanimous decision of the Council of the European Union. Since the contract of Europol's first director, Jürgen Storbeck of Germany expired in June 2004, Deputy Director Mariano Simancas (Spain) had been appointed Acting Director. Differences among EU Member States (France, Germany and Italy in particular) resulted in delays in appointing a new Director. On February 24, 2005, the Justice and Home Affairs Council finally selected Mr. Max-Peter Ratzel for the position of Europol Director. He took up his position as Director on April 16, 2005. Ratzel started his career in the BKA (Federal Criminal Police Office, Wiesbaden, Germany) in 1976, where he was the Head of the Organised and General Crime Department. The Council of the European Union forms, along with the European Parliament, the legislative arm of the European Union (EU). ... February 24 is the 55th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar and is the current year. ... April 16 is the 106th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (107th in leap years). ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar and is the current year. ...



Europol is politically accountable to the Justice and Home Affairs Council via the Europol Management Board.


The Council controls the appointment of Europol's Director and Deputy Directors. It also controls Europol's budget (2005; €63.4 million, financed from member state contributions, rather than the EU budget) and any legislative instruments it deems necessary for Europol.


The Europol Management Board is staffed with Interior Ministry officials with one representative from every participating member state. It meets at least twice per year and exercises political control over more routine staffing and budetary matters, amongst other things.


The Joint Supervisory Body oversees data protection in Europol and has two representative from each participating state's data protection supervisory body.


Financial supervision over Europol is aided by a committee of auditors drawn from the membership of the European Court of Auditors and known as the Joint Audit Committee. The Joint Audit Committee is not technically part of the European Court of Auditors as the Europol budget is not part of the overall EU budget. This unusual arrangement preserves the intergovernmental character of Europol. The European Court of Auditors is one of five institutions of the European Union. ...


The European Court of Justice has minimal jurisdicion over Europol with its remit extending only to limited interpretation of the Europol Convention. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) is formally known as the Court of Justice of the European Communities, i. ...


The European Ombudsman, while not given a formal role in the Europol Convention, seems to have gained de facto recognition as a arbitrator in Europol matters relating to requests for access to documents and Europol staff disputes. The European Ombudsman (or sometimes Euro-Ombudsman) is an ombudsman for the European Union. ...


Controversy

In 2001, a French employee of Europol was arrrested by Dutch police in The Hague on suspicion of forgery. On May 30, Dutch police search Europol Headquarters in a follow-up operation. This followed the discovery of irregularities in Europol's 1999 accounts that came to light after an audit. After an internal Europol investigation, the Dutch police were called in.


Fictional appearances

EUROPOL has already been featured in works of fiction. In the 2004 film Ocean's Twelve, Catherine Zeta-Jones played Isabel Lahiri, a Europol agent on the trail of Danny Ocean and company. Oceans Twelve is a 2004 film that takes place after the events of 2001s smash hit, Oceans Eleven. ... Catherine Zeta Jones in a publicity photo for Elizabeth Arden cosmetics Catherine Zeta-Jones (born September 25, 1969) is an Academy Award-winning Welsh actress. ...


External link

  • Europol information website.
  • Statewatch news on Europol staff arrest controversy

  Results from FactBites:
 
EUROPOL, the European Police Office (154 words)
Europol is the European Law Enforcement Organisation which aims at improving the effectiveness and co-operation of the competent authorities in the Member States in preventing and combating terrorism, unlawful drug trafficking and other serious forms of international organised crime.
In a visit to the Europol headquarters in The Hague Ronald K. Noble, Secretary General of INTERPOL, met with Europol Director Max-Peter Ratzel in order to review current cooperation projects and to identify areas for future cooperation.
As always the topic of exchange of information was high on the agenda as well as the streamlining of cooperation.
EUROPOL - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1248 words)
Currently Europol covers cooperation in all 25 member states of the European Union, with Estonia the last of the ten new EU states to ratify the Europol Convention on July 1, 2005.
Europol's aim is to improve the effectiveness and co-operation between the competent authorities of the member states primarily by sharing and pooling intelligence to prevent and combat serious international organised crime.
Europol's Director is appointed by the unanimous decision of the Council of the European Union.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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