Following the signature of the cooperation agreement between Europol and Denmark and ahead on the entry into force of the new mandate of Europol on 1 May, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos i and Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King i made the following statement:
"Today, we welcome the official signature of the cooperation agreement between Europol and Denmark. It comes a few days before Europol turns a new page in its history with the new legal framework which will apply as of 1 May. We live in volatile, unpredictable times for our security. Our citizens are understandably worried and demand action from the EU. We need the right tools to respond more quickly and effectively to these security threats. This is precisely what Europol offers. Today's agreements are significant in that respect and they come as a result of close cooperation between the European Parliament, Member States, Europol and the Commission.
The greatest efforts were made, led by President Juncker, to agree on operational arrangements minimising the negative impact of Denmark's departure from Europol on 1 May 2017. The solution agreed with Denmark is a tailor-made arrangement allowing for a sufficient level of cooperation, including the exchange of operational data and the deployment of liaison officers. Being fully in line with European data protection rules, Denmark will have a unique status which will allow for much closer ties with Europol without amounting to full membership.
The new Europol legal framework will enter into application on 1 May, significantly boosting our ability to tackle terrorism, cybercrime and other forms of cross-border serious and organised crime whilst ensuring strong data protection safeguards and parliament scrutiny. Europol will now truly become a hub of information exchange in Europe - connecting the dots across Member States and beyond.
The fight against cross-border and organised crime and terrorism has been one of the highest priorities of this Commission. Both the new Regulation as well as the agreement with Denmark demonstrate the Commission's commitment to tackling these challenges in the most pragmatic and effective way possible to ensure the security of all European citizens. The security of one Member State is the security of all."
Following the Joint Declaration of the Presidents of the European Council and the Commission and the Danish Prime Minister, utmost efforts were made to agree on operational arrangements minimising the negative impact of Denmark's departure from Europol on 1 May 2017.
Europol is the EU's law enforcement Agency, assisting national authorities by exchanging information, intelligence analyses and threats assessments. Originally established on the basis of a Convention signed by EU Member States in 1995, Europol gained the status of an EU Agency funded by the EU budget in January 2010, under Council Decision 2009/371/JHA. The Agency deals with terrorism and international serious crime such as cybercrime, drug smuggling and people trafficking and currently has 1,000 staff members with its headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands.
To enhance Europol's mandate as the EU's central law enforcement agency and enable it to respond more rapidly to emerging international terrorist threats and serious and organised crime, the European Commission proposed a new regulation on 27 March 2013. In line with the Lisbon Treaty, the proposal aimed to place the Agency under a new legislative framework and enhance its role as the central hub for information exchange. The text of the proposal was agreed by the European Parliament and the Council on 26 November 2015. The final text was approved by the Council on 10 March 2016 and voted on by the European Parliament on 11 May 2016. The new Regulation entered into force on 13 June 2016 and will take effect in all EU Member States as of 1 May 2017.
For More Information
Regulation on the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol)
Joint Declaration by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk and the Prime Minister of Denmark, Lars Løkke Rasmussen