Renew Europe welcomes the deal struck tonight between the European Parliament and the Council on strengthening Europol's mandate. With cross-border crime rapidly evolving in nature and sophistication, the reinforcement of Europol is critical.
Thanks to our group's efforts, Europol will from now on be able to request initiatives for criminal investigations if there is a cross border situation or when it falls within the remits of EU competence.
Renew Europe has also worked diligently throughout the negotiations to ensure the fundamental rights aspect of the package deal. Amongst some of the victories are the creation of a new Fundamental Rights Officer, the reinforcement of Europol's Data Protection Officer with additional tasks and resources, and the establishment of a consultative forum to provide Europol with independent advice on fundamental rights matters.
Dragoș Tudorache, Renew Europe's negotiator on the report, emphasises some of the victories:
”Renew Europe is the only group that has consistently advocated for Europol’s right to request the initiation of investigations, and the negotiated text includes this possibility under certain circumstances -- an important Renew victory.
Our group was also instrumental in strengthening the role of the EDPS and adding data protection safeguards for our citizens, in ensuring Europol officers have fundamental rights training, and in increasing the transparency requirements of Europol and the democratic oversight of its activities through the JPSG. This is a victory for European citizens, for their safety, and for the protection of their fundamental rights.”
In the end, the overall deal is very satisfactory for Europol's future governance and accountability.