Almost six years after the entry into force of the Europol Council Decision, Europol is now an integral part of the EU security architecture. During this period, Europol made significant progress in building its operational capabilities and responding to the increasing demand for its operational products and services, while realising efficiency gains and re-allocating resources to new tasks and high priority areas.
At the same time, the world has been accelerating; the complexity and scale of crime is increasing while cybercrime, serious and organised crime and terrorism are developing into significant pan-European threats. Technological developments have led to an ever-increasing volume of available data while the internet, social media and mobile technologies are changing the inter-connectivity of the world including its criminal landscape. In this climate, stepped up efforts are needed to devise European solutions to address European problems.
In this context and from its unique position, Europol has proved that it is ready to be part of these European solutions; 2015 in particular has been a year of significant and rapid developments especially in the areas of terrorism and migration.
The previous Europol Strategy 2010-2014 laid the foundation for Europol to become a trusted partner of law enforcement authorities, strengthening criminal information sharing and cooperation as the European criminal information hub and realising its role as a principal provider of operational support and expertise to Member States’ investigations.
In the next five years, Europol’s core purpose and focus will remain unchanged; Europol will continue to support law enforcement authorities in their fight against serious and organised crime and terrorism, but the strategic emphasis of the organisation will progressively shift from laying the foundation of increased capability to one based on full-scale delivery of operational service and impact. Europol, in its new Strategy 2016-2020 focuses on consolidating all its capabilities and expertise, to deliver the most effective support to MS investigations; the focus of Europol’s work will therefore be placed on two fundamental themes:
- making a significant contribution to criminal information management in the EU
- delivering maximum operational impact in its operational support to MS