Action 31: Analyse the usefulness of creating a European cybercrime centre

What is the problem? Cyber threats

As digital technology increasingly becomes an integral part of our lives, the potential impact of ICT-related criminal threats multiplies in scope and sophistication. Given the interconnectedness of electronic networks and systems, any criminal activity could have relevance for more than one jurisdiction; this calls for an enhanced and close cooperation between relevant authorities (i.e. law enforcement agencies, judicial authorities, police).

Why is EU action required? Fight cybercrime at European level

The Commission conducted a study to investigate the pros and cons of creating a pan-European cybercrime centre. The study considered the aim, scope and possible financing of the centre. This initiative is strongly linked with action 30 and action 41.

Following on from the feasibility study, the Commission will set up a pan-European cybercrime centre (EC3) in January 2013 within Europol. The centre will be the focal point in the fight against cybercrime, providing operational support to Member States, becoming an information hub for cybercrime-related information; reaching out to industry and the research community; cooperating with CEPOL for more targeted training for police, prosecutors and judges; producing threat assessments and trend forecasts and developing forensic digital tools to collect evidence of cybercrime that can be used in courts to try suspects.

What has the Commission done so far?

In 2012:

  • Issued a communication calling for the establishment of a European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) within Europol

What will the Commission do?

In 2013:

  • Launch the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) in Europol and ensure it delivers in line with the vision outlined in its 2012 Communication.