European Police Office ACT 2006
This Act aims to improve police cooperation between Member States to combat terrorism, illicit traffic in drugs and other serious forms of international crime.
This Act establishes a European Police Office,"Europol", to be created. Its task is to improve the effectiveness of the competent authorities in the Member States and cooperation between them in an increasing number of areas.
- preventing and combating terrorism,
- unlawful drug-trafficking,
- trafficking in human beings,
- illicit trafficking in radioactive and nuclear substances.
----------------------The European Police Office ACT 2006---------------------------
THE HIGH CONTRACTING PARTIES to the present Act, Member States of the European Union,
**AWARE **of the urgent problems arising from terrorism, unlawful drug trafficking and other serious forms of international crime;
**WHEREAS **there is a need for progress in solidarity and co-operation between the Member States of the European Union, particularly through an improvement in police cooperation between the Member States;
**WHEREAS **such progress should enable the protection of security and public order to be further improved;
**MINDFUL **of the common objective of improving police cooperation in the field of terrorism, unlawful drug trafficking and other serious forms of international crime through a constant, confidential and intensive exchange of information between Europol and Member States' national units;
ON THE UNDERSTANDING that the forms of cooperation laid down in this Act should not affect other forms of bilateral or multilateral cooperation;
**CONVINCED **that in the field of police co-operation, particular attention must be paid to the protection of the rights of individuals, and in particular to the protection of their personal data;
**WHEREAS **the activities of Europol under this Act are without prejudice to the powers of the European Union; whereas Europol and the EU have a mutual interest in establishing types of cooperation enabling each of them to perform their respective tasks as effectively as possible,
HAVE AGREED as follows:
Establishment and Tasks
Article 1: Establishment
1. The Member States of the European Union, hereinafter referred to as "Member States", hereby establish a European Police Office, hereinafter referred to as "Europol".
2. Europol shall liaise with a single national unit in each Member State, to be established or designated in accordance with Article 4 of this Act.
**Article 2: Objective **
1. The objective of Europol shall be to improve the effectiveness and cooperation of the competent authorities in the Member States in preventing and combating terrorism, unlawful drug trafficking and other serious forms of international crime where there are factual indications that an organized criminal structure is involved and two or more Member States are affected by the forms of crime in question in such a way as to require a common approach by the Member States owing to the scale, significance and consequences of the offences concerned.
2. For the purposes of this Act, "competent authorities" means all public bodies existing in the Member States which are responsible under national law for preventing and combating criminal offences.
3. Europol will uphold all member nations' national sovereignty. It is determined and duty-bound to assisting, and not replacing, the law enforcement authorities of Member States in their fight against serious forms of organised crime.
Article 3: Tasks
1. In the framework of its objective, Europol shall have the following principal tasks:
- to facilitate the exchange of information between the Member States;
- to obtain, collate and analyse information and intelligence;
- to notify the competent authorities of the Member States without delay via the national units, referred to in Article 4 of this Act, of information concerning them and of any connections identified between criminal offences;
- to aid investigations in the Member States by forwarding all relevant information to the national units;
- to maintain a private forum containing data accessible only by authorised people.
2. In order to improve the cooperation and effectiveness of the competent authorities in the Member States through the national units, Europol shall furthermore have the following additional tasks:
- to develop specialist knowledge of the investigative procedures of the competent authorities in the Member States and to provide advice on investigations;
- to provide strategic intelligence to assist with and promote the efficient and effective use of the resources available at national level for operational activities;
- to prepare general situation reports.
Article 4: National Units
1. Each Member State shall establish or designate a national unit to carry out the tasks listed in this Article.
2. The national unit shall be the only liaison body between Europol and the competent national authorities. Relationships between the national unit and the competent authorities shall be governed by national law, and, in particular the relevant national constitutional requirements.
3. Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that the national units are able to fulfil their tasks and, in particular, have access to relevant national data.
4. It shall be the task of the national units to:
- supply Europol on their own initiative with the information and intelligence necessary for it to carry out its tasks;
- respond to Europol's requests for information, intelligence and advice;
- keep information and intelligence up to date;
- evaluate information and intelligence in accordance with national law for the competent authorities and transmit this material to them;
- issue requests for advice, information, intelligence and analysis to Europol;
- supply Europol with information for storage in the private forums;
- ensure compliance with the law in every exchange of information between themselves and Europol.
5. A national unit shall not be obliged in a particular case to supply information and intelligence if this would mean:
- harming essential national security interests; or
- jeopardizing the success of a current investigation or the safety of individuals;
- involving information pertaining to organizations or specific intelligence activities in the field of national security.
6. The Heads of national units shall meet as necessary to assist Europol by giving advice in the forums.
Article 5: Liaison Officers
1. Each national unit shall send at least one liaison officer to Europol. The number of liaison officers who may be sent by Member States to Europol shall be laid down by unanimous decision of the Management Board; the decision may be altered at any time by unanimous decision of the Management Board. Except as otherwise stipulated in specific provisions of this Act, liaison officers shall be subject to the national law of the sending Member State.
2. The liaison officers shall be instructed by their national units to represent the interests of their nations within Europol in accordance with the national law of the liaison's Member State and in compliance with the provisions applicable to the administration of Europol.
3. The liaison officers shall assist in the exchange of information between the national units which have sent them and Europol, in particular by:
- providing Europol with information from the liaison's national unit;
- forwarding information from Europol to the liaison's national unit; and
- cooperating with the officials of Europol by providing information and giving advice as regards analysis of the information concerning the liaison's Member State.
4. Europol shall provide Member States with the necessary security clearance to the Europol forums for the activity of their liaison officers.
Article 6: Right of Access to the Information System held in Europol Forum
1. Only national units, liaison officers, the agency Director, Deputy Directors or duly empowered Europol officials shall have the right to input data directly into the information system and retrieve it therefrom. Data may be retrieved where this is necessary for the performance of Europol's tasks in a particular case; retrieval shall be effected in accordance with the laws, regulations, administrative provisions and procedures of the retrieving unit, subject to any additional provisions contained in this Act.
2. Only the unit which entered the data may modify, correct or delete such data. Where a unit has reason to believe that data is incorrect or wishes to supplement it, shall immediately inform the inputting unit; the latter shall examine such notification without delay and if necessary modify, supplement, correct or delete the data immediately.
Common Provisions on Information Processing
Article 7: Duty to Notify
Europol shall promptly notify the national units (their liaison officers) of any information concerning their Member State. Information and intelligence concerning other serious criminal offences, of which Europol becomes aware in the course of its duties, may also be communicated.
Article 8: Right of Access
1. Any individual wishing to exercise his right of access to data relating to his nation which has been stored within Europol's forum or to have such data checked may make a request to the national competent authority in any Member State he wishes, and that authority shall refer it to Europol without delay and inform the enquirer that Europol will reply to him directly.
2. The request must be fully dealt with by Europol within three days following its receipt by the national competent authority of the Member State concerned.
3. The right of any individual to have access to data relating to his nation or to have such data checked shall be exercised in accordance with the law of the Member State where the right is claimed, taking into account the following provisions:
Where the law of the Member State applied to provides for a communication concerning data, such communication shall be refused if such refusal is necessary to:
- enable Europol to fulfil its duties properly;
- protect security and public order in the Member States or to prevent crime;
- protect the rights and freedoms of third parties.
Article 9: The Supervisory Body
1. The supervisory body shall be the Security Council, which shall have the task of reviewing, in accordance with this Act, the activities of Europol in order to ensure that the rights of the individual are not violated by the storage, processing and utilization of the data held by Europol. In addition, the Security Council shall monitor the permissibility of the transmission of data originating from Europol.
In the performance of their duties, the members of the Security Council shall not receive instructions from any other European Union body.
2. Europol must assist the Security Council in the performance of the latter's tasks. In doing so, it shall, in particular:
- supply the information it requests, give it access to all data stored in the Europol forums.
Legal Status and Organization
Article 10: Legal Capacity
1. Europol shall ASSIST, and NOT replace, the law enforcement authorities of Member States in their fight against serious forms of organised crime.
Article 27: Organs of Europol
The organs of Europol shall be:
- the Management Board;
- the Director.
Article 11: Management Board
1. Europol shall have a Management Board. The Management Board:
- shall take part in the extension of Europol's objective;
- shall take part in the appointment and dismissal of the Director and Deputy Directors;
- shall be responsible for any other tasks assigned to it by the Security Council.
2. The Management Board shall be composed of one representative of each Member State. Each member of the Management Board shall have one vote.
3. The Management Board shall be chaired by an elected representative.
Article 12: Director
1. Europol shall be headed by a Director appointed by the Management Board, acting for a four-month period, renewable.
2. The Director shall be assisted by a number of Deputy Directors as determined by himself.
3. The Director shall be responsible for:
- performance of the tasks assigned to Europol;
- day-to-day administration;
- personnel management;
- proper preparation and implementation of the Management Board's decisions;
- all other tasks assigned to him in this Act or by the Management Board.
4. The Director shall be accountable to the Management Board in respect of the performance of his duties. He shall attend its meetings.
5. The Director shall be Europol's legal representative.
6. The Director and the Deputy Directors may be dismissed by a decision of the Management Board.
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