Our Thinking

A strategy for security

As the EU’s law enforcement agency, Europol has a mission to support its Member States in preventing and combating all forms of serious international and organised crime, cybercrime and terrorism.

Europol’s vision is to ensure an effective EU response to the threats of serious international and organised crime, cybercrime and terrorism in the EU, by acting as the principal information hub, delivering agile operational support and providing European policing solutions in conjunction with our network of partners.

Europol's Strategy for 2016 to 2020 is the frame of reference for its daily operations and for supporting EU law enforcement cooperation.

In pursuit of this ambitious strategy, Europol addresses the most important challenges facing it, and is exploiting all opportunities to make further progress and deliver tangible benefits.

Values

Based on the mission and vision, Europol has six values that shape the culture of the organisation:

  1. Service - we treat our colleagues and our cooperation partners in Member States and beyond with diligence, aiming to deliver the best service possible, in order to address their needs effectively and efficiently.
  2. Integrity - we uphold strong moral principles and do the right thing in a reliable way. Our Code of Conduct sets out the framework for our ethics.
  3. Accountability - we accept responsibility for our proposals, actions and decisions, and we are willing to align our behaviour with the needs, priorities and goals of the organisation. 
  4. Initiative - we continuously strive to improve performance by doing or promoting new things relevant to our specific area and for the organisation and our partners.
  5. Partnership - we build sustainable relations across the law enforcement community and beyond, increasing innovation and knowledge, to provide agile operational support to Member States and cooperation partners.
  6. Diversity - we foster diversity in the workplace and uphold an inclusive corporate culture and conditions where all staff members have equal opportunities to develop and contribute to the success of the organisation.

These values underline the agency’s commitment to the EU public service principles.

Europol’s Values provide the basis for Europol’s Ethics which are founded on the Europol Code of Conduct  and specific internal guidance to all Europol staff on avoiding conflict of interest, complemented by whistle-blowing arrangements to uphold Europol’s high governance standards.

Strategy and Priorities

Europol’s Strategy guides the organisation in implementing its main goals and vision, and in delivering a unique set of operational services to the EU.

Europol’s Strategy has three main goals:

1. To become the EU information hub on crime, providing information-sharing capabilities to law enforcement authorities in the Member States

Cooperation between Member States in identifying common information gaps and investigation priorities is essential and will be strengthened.

2. To provide the most effective operational support and expertise to investigations in Member States by developing and employing a comprehensive portfolio of services

Europol will provide high-quality operational support to investigations in Member States to combat serious and organised crime, cybercrime and terrorism aligned with the European Agenda on Security.

3. To become an efficient organisation with effective governance arrangements and a positive reputation

Operating within available budget margins, Europol aims to achieve the highest levels of effectiveness and efficiency in resource management as well as information and communication technology.

As a public organisation, Europol adheres to the highest accountability and governance standards.

Further to these goals, Europol’s strategic priorities are to:

  • be the EU criminal information hub;
  • deliver agile operational support;
  • be a platform for European policing solutions;
  • be at the forefront of law enforcement innovation and research;
  • be the model EU law enforcement organisation.

Work Programmes and Consolidated Annual Activity Reports (CAAR)

The strategic objectives will be fully reflected and further detailed in Europol’s multi-annual Programming Document, the current issue of which covers 2018-2020.

Implementation of the Strategy will be monitored via the performance-management and reporting mechanisms established in the multi-annual Programming Document and, through the progress reports that are submitted to the Management Board twice per year.

Looking ahead

The Lisbon Treaty, the Europol Council Decision governing the agency, and the agency’s own strategy and improved capabilities have helped to enhance Europol’s position on the EU stage.

Europol has developed into a unique partner for EU law enforcement agencies, and is an important contributor to the EU decision-making process.

Europol is always looking out for opportunities to make the fight against organised crime and terrorism more effective.

In recent years, Europol has launched dedicated centres that focus on specific threats facing the EU:

EC3 was set up in 2013; EMSC, ECTC and IPC3, in 2016.In the same year, FIU.net, a decentralised and sophisticated computer network supporting the financial intelligence units (FIUs) in the EU in their fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism — became part of Europol’s operations, a move that has contributed to further closing the financial intelligence gap and creating more synergy among all the communities that handle financial intelligence in the Member States.

On 1 May 2017, a new Europol regulation entered into force that enabled the agency to step up efforts to fight terrorism, cybercrime and other serious and organised forms of crime. Europol’s new powers were accompanied with increased data protection safeguards, democratic control and parliamentary scrutiny.

The regulation makes it easier for Europol to set up specialised units to respond swiftly to emerging terrorist threats and other forms of serious and organised crime.