International police cooperation: MEPs back Europol – Georgia deal to fight terrorism and organised crime
Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 17 dicembre 2016
An agreement establishing police cooperation between Europol and Georgia, aimed at strengthening the mutual fight against terrorism and organised crime, was backed by the European Parliament on Wednesday.
The operational and strategic agreement allow for the exchange of information, including personal data. Such information could come in the form of specialist knowledge, general situation reports, results of strategic analysis and information on criminal investigation procedures and crime-prevention methods. It could also include participation in training activities and advice and support during individual criminal investigations.”There are clear operational needs for Europol to deepen its cooperation with Georgia,” said Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes (S&D, UK) who is Parliament’s rapporteur on the file. “According to Europol, Georgia is increasingly relevant in the fight against terrorism and organised crime, particularly as it is a transit country of so-called foreign fighters and a vital partner in the fight against Georgian organised criminal groups.”The conclusion of this strategic and operational cooperation agreement with Georgia would therefore aid and reinforce the fight against organised crime and would contribute to enhancing international law enforcement co-operation,” he added.Under the current rules established in the Europol Council Decision (2009/371/JHA), Parliament must be consulted only before the Council establishes police cooperation agreements with third countries.
However, the rapporteur underlines that with new Europol regulation entering into force from 11 May 2016 and applying 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 the outcome of the assessment.Once this new Europol regulation applies, Parliament will get an equal say with the Council on future police cooperation agreements and its approval will be required in order for new agreements to get the green light.
Parliament gave its green light to the agreement by 544 votes in favour to 99 against, with 66 abstentions.