Europol nears stronger mandate for data-driven policing capacities


EurActiv report on the European Parliament's civil liberties committee voting in favour of strengthening Europol's powers.

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"Europol, the EU’s law enforcement cooperation agency, is approaching the finishing line to get a broader mandate, legitimising data processing practices that spurred controversy last year.

The adoption of the new mandate on Tuesday (12 October) by the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) is one of the final steps for Europol to broaden its competencies.

“Digital is the new reality. The Europol mandate had to be updated to face these challenges that threaten the security of the Europeans,” said Javier Zarzalejos, the MEP leading on the file.

Europol’s main task consists in collecting data on cross-border crime and make it available to national authorities for their investigations, but the EU agency has also developed an expertise in analysing very large datasets with the objective of identifying criminal profiles.


“This reform is meant to legalise current practices that went beyond scope, how do we know it won’t be the case again in the future?” Green MEP Saskia Bricmont told EURACTIV.

A key part of the proposal consists in giving Europol the capacity to process data from any kind of private entities, including internet companies, and third countries that voluntarily choose to provide it.

Data protection concerns note there is little Europol can do to verify the origin of such data, which might also come from non-EU countries that do not meet Europe’s privacy standards."

Source: EurActiv, 12 October 2021

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