Updated rules for Europol: Council adopts position at first reading

Council of the EU
  • 10/03/2016
  • 13:30
  • Press release
  • 117/16
  • Home Affairs

On 10 March 2016, the Council adopted its position at first reading on a draft regulation on the European Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation and Training (Europol), which paves the way for the final adoption of the regulation by the European Parliament in May. 

"Europol stands at the forefront in the fight against organised crime and terrorism. This regulation will make the support it provides to member states more efficient", said Ard van der Steur, Minister for Justice of the Netherlands and President of the Council.

The new draft regulation is mainly aimed at aligning the current  Council Decision on Europol (Decision 2009/371/JHA) with the requirements of the Treaty of Lisbon  by setting up the legislative framework of Europol in the regulation and by introducing a mechanism for control of Europol's activities by the European Parliament, together with national Parliaments. In addition it will adapt Europol's external relations to the new Treaty rules.

The new regulation will also ensure a robust data protection regime for Europol, in particular to guarantee that the data protection supervisor of Europol has full independence, can act effectively and has sufficient powers of intervention. 

Finally, it will provide Europol with a flexible and modern data management regime and align Europol's governance with the general guidelines applicable to agencies. 

As a result, Europol should become more efficient in supporting member states to tackle as effectively as possible terrorism and other forms of serious crime.

Next steps

The European Parliament is expected to vote in second reading at the plenary session in May, thus approving the Council's position at first reading without amendments and ending the legislative process.

Afterwards, the legal texts will be published in the Official Journal of the EU.