Europol: responses to questions on right-wing extremism

Europol's press office has finally responded to questions from Statewatch on the agency's work relating to right-wing extremism in Europe. The questions were submitted to the agency in January for an article that was published last month. The answers were provided nearly two months later and are reproduced below.

When was the platform set up and how many meetings have been held between Member States' experts since that time?

"Europol's platform for experts (EPE) on right-wing extremism was set up after the Breivik attacks in Norway in July 2011 following the First Response Team recommendations.

"Amongst others it was decided to establish a Task Force on Violent Right Wing Extremism. As this Task Force was no permanent establishmen with MS experts continuously being deployed at Europol, the EPE Right Wing Extremism was created to facilitate nominated members of involved law enforcement authorities with the possibility of sharing technical information, knowledge and best practice amongst each other.

"The EPE was an additional tool to the already existing methods of communication, such as meetings, conferences and bilateral contacts. With regards to the exchange of information, the majority of this information was send via the operational channels such as the Europol information systems. Operational data exchange only happens via the Europol information systems.

"The necessity of the EPE, as an additional tool, does not seem very high for this particular topic, as the existing channels offer efficient and reliable solutions for communications."

Can you say how many messages have been exchanged through the platform since its launch, and how this compares to other EPEs?

"The amount of messages exchanged through the platform cannot be traced."

When was the last six-monthly report on right-wing extremism produced by Focal Point DOLPHIN? What other reports does this Focal Point produce, if any?

"The last Situation Report "Violent Right-wing Extremism in Europe - Update v. 3" produced by Focal Point Dolphin was sent to MS in August 2013. The reports are produced based on necessity and relevance. Focal Point Dolphin is producing cross match reports and operational analysis reports in regard to violent politically motivated serious crimes, not necessarily considered as terrorism, and affecting two or more Member States."

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