In 2010, Europol together with the European Commission and the EU Member States established the EUCTF. Membership of the EUCTF is comprised of the Heads of the National Cybercrime Units from the various member states as well as representatives from Europol, the European Commission and Eurojust.
The EUCTF is a trust based network which meets twice yearly at Europol and provides a forum for the heads of the EU cybercrime units and associated countries (Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland), together with EUROPOL, CEPOL, EUROJUST and DG HOME to identify, discuss and prioritise the key challenges and actions in the fight against cybercrime.
The mission statement of EUCTF is to develop and promote a harmonised approach within the European Union to the criminal misuse of information and communication technology and the fight against cybercrime.
The EUCTF works towards making cyber space a safe place for EU citizens, organisations, enterprises and governments to transact their business and to render the EU a hostile environment for cybercriminals. It also aims to assist EUROPOL and the Member States in the development and alignment of EU priorities on the approach to the fight against cybercrime.
The alignment with EMPACT, the work programme of EUROPOL and the operational actions carried out within J-CAT are key aspects of the activities developed and supported by EUCTF.
Several times EUCTF as a group of expert stakeholders has been involved in EU-wide policy (NIS Directive, WHOIS reform) leveraging on the good connections and status of its members to reach out internally to politicians and legislators.
The taskforce is open to occasional guests on a case-by-case basis from non-participating countries as well as non-law enforcement partners.
- Prevent and detect cybercrime and cyber-enabled crime
- Promote effective internet governance
- Disrupt and dismantle the criminal infrastructure
- Prevent and combat the underground economy on the Internet
- Improve EU LEA information sharing and operational cooperation
- Collaborate with the information security industry
- Oversee training development
- Advise EU institutions
- Cooperate with Europol
- Cooperate with Eurojust and the European Judicial Cybercrime Network
- Promote international investigative good practice
- Support effective legislation to combat cybercrime
The EUCTF is managed by a dedicated Board composed of a chairperson, vice chairperson and board member who are elected by the membership for a period of two years. In addition to which the board also consist of one representative from the EU Commission and one from the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3).
EC3 provides a permanent secretariat service to support the work of the EUCTF and the Board.
As part of its strategic mission, the taskforce is involved in the production of the yearly Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA).
Taking at heart its mission statement, EUCTF has managed to perform as a sounding board for activities and proposals which are then further developed by individual countries and groups of countries with Europol though the EMPACT Operational Action Plan.
An example of inter-agency cooperation at its finest includes an agreement between the EUCTF and ECTEG Boards in 2017 to collaborate with CEPOL on the continued development of synergies to improve IT crime fighting capacity building across Europe.
EUCF sits as permanent representative at the EUCTF Board and works in close synergy with J-CAT, promoting its operational activities among the EUCTF members.