In particular, since the beginning of 2013 Europol is the home of the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3).
A related feasibility study carried out for the European Commission states that, next to operational considerations, strong data protection safeguards constitute one of the main factors for having the centre launched at Europol.
Drewer/Ellermann, Europol’s data protection framework as an asset in the fight against cybercrime, in: ERA Forum (2012) 13:381–395DOI 10.1007/s12027-012-0268-6 making reference to (http://www.rand.org/pubs/technical_reports/TR1218.html, in particular, p. 2, 86, 88, 90, 149 and 154, accessed on 26/04/12); see also Drewer/Ellermann, May the (well-balanced) force be with us! The launch of the European Counter Terrorism Centre (ECTC), in: Computer Law & Security Review 32 (2016), p. 195–204.
strengthen and integrate operational and analytical capacities for cybercrime investigations in the European Union, including a reinforcement of the cooperation with Member States, international partners and the private sector;
evaluate and monitor existing preventive and investigative measures in the area of cybercrime;
support the development of training and awareness-raising initiatives of law enforcement, judicial authorities and the private sector;
facilitate the reporting of cybercrimes and simplify subsequent processing of the information by Member States’ law enforcement authorities via interlinking national cybercrime alert platforms to a central European cybercrime alert platform;
improve cooperation with the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) as well as national/governmental Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) on law enforcement relevant aspects of cyber security.
The main axes of functionality of EC3 are thus to be seen in analysis/intelligence capabilities, investigative support, training as well as cooperation with law enforcement and non-law-enforcement partners.
European Commission (ed.), The EU Internal Security Strategy in Action: Five steps towards a more secure Europe, COM(2010) 673 final, p. 9 f.