EU: New powers for Europol: Presidency progress report and latest member state comments

Discussions in the Council on granting extended powers to EU police agency Europol are pressing ahead, with a number of the "thematic blocs" in the proposal closed, according to an internal Presidency report published here alongside the member states' most recent comments.


NOTE from: Presidency to: Permanent Representatives Committee/Council: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) 2016/794, as regards Europol’s cooperation with private parties, the processing of personal data by Europol in support of criminal investigations, and Europol’s role on research and innovation - Progress report (Council document 9158/21, LIMITE, 28 May 2021, pdf)

"Major progress has been achieved. A number of blocs can be considered closed or practically do not require any further discussion except for some final technical adjustments: this is notably the case of blocs 1 and 5 on cooperation with private parties and with third countries, respectively, but also bloc 3 on Europol’s role in innovation and bloc 6 on the relationship between Europol and the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO). Last but not least, changes required in bloc 7 on the initiation of criminal proceedings have also been fully agreed on by the Member States.

Significant progress can also be noted on the remaining blocs under discussion. Bloc 2 on the handling of big datasets is technically complicated but the Member States share a common goal – a regime based on appropriate safeguards which will allow Europol to adequately support the Member States in the age of modern technologies marked by large amounts of data to be processed. Bloc 8 on the alignment of Europol’s data protection regime with Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 has been discussed in two meetings and the text has been revised in order to accommodate a number of concerns raised by the Member States. And finally, during the last meeting on 1 June 2021, the Presidency tabled a second compromise suggestion on the entering of third country information in the SIS, in order to find a solution that closes the perceived information gap and can obtain sufficient support amongst the Member States. These issues still require further work but may yet be solved before the end of June."

And the latest comments from the member states: NOTE from: Presidency to: Delegations: Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL amending Regulation (EU) 2016/794, as regards Europol’s cooperation with private parties, the processing of personal data by Europol in support of criminal investigations, and Europol’s role on research and innovation - Written comments (Council document 5527/8/21 REV 8, LIMITE, 31 May 2021, pdf):

"Delegations will find attached a revised compilation of the Member States’ comments regarding the Commission proposal for a Regulation amending Regulation (EU) 2016/794 (Europol Regulation), containing the initial comments received after the LEWP meeting of 11 January 2021 (Annex part 1), the follow-up comments received after the meeting of 25 January 2021 (Annex part 2), additional comments received after the meeting of 8 February 2021 (Annex part 3), comments regarding block 4 received after the meeting of 22 February 2021 (Annex part 4), the follow-up comments and comments regarding block 2 after the meeting on 8 March 2021 (Annex part 5), follow-up comments and comments regarding block 6 after the meeting on 12 April 2021 (Annex part 6), the follow-up comments and comments regarding block 8 after the meeting on 26 April 2021 (Annex part 7) and the latest follow-up comments after meetings on 7 May 2021 (Annex part 8) and 18 May (Annex part 9)."

Statewatch previously published the fourth iteration of this document: EU: More powers for Europol: what does your government think? (15 March 2021)

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