On 14 December representatives of the CIVCOM working party, the European Commission and the Council Secretariat paid a study visit to Europol. CIVCOM (Committee for Civilian Aspects of Crisis Management) is a working group of the Council, composed of Member States’ representatives.
Since it deals with CSDP missions (Common Security and Defence Policy of the EU) that have a law–enforcement component, the objective of our guests was to learn more about Europol, its structure and tasks, and to discuss prospects for enhanced cooperation between the missions and Europol.
During the visit, Europol’s potential added value and current developments were presented by the Director, who also underlined the distinct relation between the internal security of the EU and criminal activities outside its borders. Europol’s robust data protection and data security regime was explained to CIVCOM members. Operational benefits offered by Europol were presented, supported by concrete examples from AWF Copper and developing cooperation with EULEX Kosovo. The role of liaison bureaux, the elaboration of strategic assessments such as OCTA, and potential benefits from the application of Europol’s SIENA system, were also on the agenda. The visitors had also the opportunity to learn more about what Europol is doing against forgery of payment means, as well as the measures it takes to fight the production and smuggling of drugs.