Renew Europe welcomed the deal struck last week between the European Parliament and the Council of the EU on strengthening Europol's mandate. With cross-border crime rapidly evolving in nature and sophistication, the reinforcement of Europol is critical.
Thanks to Renew Europe’s efforts, Europol will now be able to request initiatives for criminal investigation in cross-border situations or when within the remit of EU competence.
Renew Europe has also worked diligently throughout the negotiations to ensure the fundamental rights aspect of the package deal. Amongst some of the victories are the creation of a new Fundamental Rights Officer, reinforcement of Europol's Data Protection Officer with additional tasks and resources and the establishment of a consultative forum to provide Europol with independent advice on fundamental rights matters.
Dragoș Tudorache MEP (USR PLUS, RO), Renew Europe negotiator on the report, emphasised some of the victories:
“Renew Europe is the only group that has consistently advocated for Europol’s right to request the initiation of investigations, and the negotiated text includes this possibility under certain circumstances -- an important victory.
Renew Europe was also instrumental in strengthening the role of the EDPS and adding data protection safeguards for citizens, in ensuring Europol officers have fundamental rights training and in increasing the transparency requirements of Europol and the democratic oversight of its activities through the JPSG. This is a victory for European citizens, for their safety and for the protection of their fundamental rights.”
In the end, the overall deal is very satisfactory for Europol's future governance and accountability.
Photo credit: Dragoș Tudorache