EU review endorses Europol’s implementation of TFTP agreement

17 March 2011
Press Release
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The Hague, the Netherlands

Europol welcomes the outcome of the official review of the implementation of the EU-US Terrorist Financing Tracking Programme (TFTP) Agreement. A report published today by the European Commission makes a positive assessment of the value of the programme to efforts to combat terrorism and confirms that "all relevant elements of the Agreement have been implemented in accordance with its provisions, including the data protection provisions."

The report was drawn up by an EU team of three Commission officials, two data protection experts and a judicial expert from Eurojust. Their work included a contribution from US representatives, Europol and other relevant parties. The report concludes that "Europol clearly takes its role under the Agreement seriously and has put in place all the necessary elements to fulfill its role in accordance with the Agreement and its implementing technical modalities." Under Article 4 of the Agreement Europol has been given the task of verifying US Requests for data. The report makes useful recommendations on how the Agreement could be implemented even more effectively, including in regard to information provided by the United States in support of its requests, a point raised in a recent report by Europol's Joint Supervisory Body. But the review team were satisfied with the implementing arrangements undertaken by Europol and praised the cooperation established with US partners.

Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol, welcomed the outcome of the review. "I am pleased that the dedicated efforts of Europol to implement the Agreement in a professional and effective way have been recognised by the EU review team", he said. "Where the implementation of this complex agreement can be made even more effective, in line with the recommendations drawn up in this report, Europol has already initiated relevant work with US colleagues and its own data protection specialists."

Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner responsible for Home Affairs, said: "I am very pleased that we have completed the first comprehensive review of the EU-US TFTP Agreement. Today's report shows that all the relevant elements of the Agreement have been implemented in accordance with its provisions, including the data protection provisions. Our US colleagues have worked in a very constructive manner with us to make this review possible. We must continue to work together in order to improve our cooperation even further and implement the recommendations put forward by the EU review team as regards increased transparency and more written information to Europol. I would also like to express my support for Europol and its Director. Europol was given a difficult and sensitive task under the Agreement. The review confirms that Europol has taken this task very seriously, and has put in place the necessary procedures to execute it in a professional manner and in accordance with the Agreement."