International police cooperation: Civil Liberties MEPs back deals with Ukraine and Georgia
Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 19 novembre 2016
Civil Liberties MEPs on Thursday backed two agreements establishing police cooperation between Europol and Ukraine and Europol and Georgia. The “operational and strategic” agreements allow for the exchange of information, including personal data. Such information could be in the field of specialist knowledge, general situation reports, results of strategic analysis, information on criminal investigation procedures, information on crime-prevention methods, participation in training activities as well as providing advice and support in individual criminal investigations.According to Europol, Ukraine is increasingly relevant in the fight against organized crime, more specific drug-related and economic crimes, trafficking in human beings and smuggling, as well as mobile (itinerant) organised crime groups. Exchange of information will enable the EU, Member States and Ukraine to prevent and combat organised crime, terrorism and other forms of international crime more effectively.Georgia is increasingly relevant in the fight against terrorism an organised crime, more specifically since it is a transit country for foreign fighters and a vital partner in the fight against Georgian organised criminal groups.Under the current rules established in the Europol Council Decision (2009/371/JHA), Parliament must only be consulted before the Council establishes police cooperation agreements with third countries. However, the rapporteur underlines that, according to the new Europol regulation, which entered into force on 11 May 2016 and will apply from 1 May 2017, the Commission will have to check all existing cooperation agreements to see if they comply with data protection standards and inform Parliament of about the outcome of the assessment.
Once the new Europol regulation starts to apply, Parliament will decide on an equal footing with Council on future police cooperation agreements and will be required to give a green light to new agreements.
The two agreements must now be voted by the full House. The agreement establishing police cooperation with Ukraine is scheduled for a vote in the Brussels-session on 1 December, in order for Council to sign the agreement at the EU-Ukraine summit on 24 November. The cooperation agreement with Georgia is expected to be voted later.