Today the Council approved the Commission's proposal to strengthen Europol's cooperation with third countries and fight terrorism and other serious transnational crime more effectively – an important deliverable under the anti-terrorism package presented by the Commission in October 2017.
The negotiating mandates approved by the Council will allow the Commission to start talks with eight countries on behalf of the EU – Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey – on the exchange of information, including personal data, with Europol.
Commissioner for Migration, Citizenship and Home Affairs, Dimitris Avramopoulos said:
"From the very beginning, I have worked towards strengthening Europol's role both inside and outside the EU. Terrorists and criminals act across borders not just in Europe but globally. We need to work closely with our neighbours and key partners to strengthen our global resilience in the fight against terrorism and organised crime, and contribute to a safer and more secure world for everyone."
Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King:
"I welcome today's decision by the Council to strengthen Europol's cooperation with third countries. We need to give Europol the right tools and resources to protect Europeans, including exchange of key information with our neighbours. I am pleased to see that the EU Justice and Home Affairs Ministers share this view."
When concluded, the agreements will provide a legal basis for the exchange of personal data between Europol and with the competent authorities of the eight countries for the purpose of preventing and combatting terrorism and serious organised crime. The agreements will establish adequate safeguards with respect to the protection of privacy and fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals. The Commission recommended the Council authorise the opening of negotiations for these eight agreements on 20 December 2017.