We started life as the Europol Drugs Unit way back in 1993. We’re celebrating our 20th birthday this year because Europol officially came to be in 1999 when the Maastricht Treaty (Article K3, to be precise) came into force.
In fact, 1999 was a big year for us: we published the first annual Organised Crime Trend Report, predecessor of the Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA) and we launched one of our first tools for gathering, exchanging and processing information and intelligence: the catchy ‘analysis work file’ (today, ‘analysis work project’).
In 2001, we welcomed cooperation with non-EU countries – Iceland and Norway were our first ‘third parties’. From 2010 things changed quickly for Europol, we became an EU Agency in 2010, set up the European Cybercrime Centre in 2013, the European Migrant Smuggling Centre and the European Counter Terrorism Centre both in 2016, and the European Serious and Organised Crime Centre and the EU Internet Referral Unit in 2017.