Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands officially opened Europol’s new headquarters in The Hague today, in the presence of hundreds of senior law enforcement personnel, VIPs and dignitaries who attended the opening ceremony, alongside Europol’s 700 staff members and other invited guests.
The state-of-the-art building offers cutting-edge facilities including accommodation for Europol’s operational control centre, which is responsible for coordinating the exchange of criminal intelligence between EU law enforcement agencies and countries that have agreements with Europol, such as Australia, Colombia and the USA.
Queen Beatrix was taken on a tour of the new premises, guided by Europol’s Director, Rob Wainwright, visiting the Drugs Lab and Cybercrime Unit. The Queen also unveiled a plaque to commemorate the official opening.
The new Europol headquarters are situated in the international zone of The Hague, with neighbours including the United Nations Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The building, with a surface area of 32 000 m2, was commissioned by the Netherlands’ Government Buildings Agency and designed by Quist Wintermans Architects.
On the opening of his organisation’s new facilities, Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol, said: “The move to these fantastic new headquarters is a historic event. From humble beginnings as the Europol Drugs Unit with just six staff, we have grown to over 700 people who are involved in coordinating 12 000 law enforcement operations a year. These great facilities and state-of-the-art equipment are all in line with Europol’s ambitions of being a modern and dynamic organisation, that is here to help and serve EU citizens via the support we provide to our law enforcement partners”.