Migration and Home Affairs

Police Cooperation

To effectively prevent and combat cross-border serious crimes and terrorism, practical cooperation between the police and customs authorities of EU Member States is required. Member States have since long cooperated on an ad-hoc basis, bilaterally or multilaterally. The EU seeks to add value by facilitating cooperation between Member States on internal security issues, with the aim to achieve a quicker, safer, and more targeted cooperation.

The Commission and the specialised EU law enforcement agencies, such as Europol, do not have autonomous investigative capabilities and are not in charge of operational law enforcement activities. This remains the responsibility of EU Member States.

However, the Commission and these agencies contribute to the enhancement of law enforcement cooperation within the EU:

  1. By proposing a common EU multi-annual strategic framework, as outlined in the European Agenda on Security 2015-2020.
  2. By improving information exchange, notably by making proposals for EU legislation such as the EU PNR, by setting up and managing databases such as the Schengen Information System (SIS) or Visa Information System (VIS), by proposing a common European Information Exchange Model (EIXM), and by assisting Member States in the implementation of existing legal instruments such as the Prüm Decision or the Swedish Initiative.
  3. By promoting operational cooperation, notably through the EU Policy Cycle for serious and organised crime, where Member States coordinate common priorities and operational action against organised crime; through cooperation on specific operations like joint investigations against cross-border crime, and through the support provided by specialised EU agencies such as Europol and Cepol.
  4. By supporting Member States actions through funding, training, and research and innovation.