Germany Sets Closer Cooperation with Europol

Germany Sets Closer Cooperation with Europol

The German Federal Cabinet has approved amendments to the Europol Act, further enhancing the fight against cross-border crime. These changes will facilitate faster and easier data exchange between Europol and German investigative authorities.

Federal Minister of the Interior, Nancy Faeser, emphasized the importance of this development: “We are further strengthening our cooperation with Europol. For effective investigations, searches, and interventions, it is crucial that data can be exchanged quickly between investigators. The bill we passed today in the Federal Cabinet will contribute to this.”

Faeser highlighted Europol’s role as an indispensable partner in combating organized crime. She cited recent global actions against human trafficking, which resulted in 219 suspects arrested and 1,374 victims, including 153 children, identified and brought to safety. In Germany alone, this operation led to 42 arrests and the protection of 88 victims of sexual exploitation.

Amendments to the Europol Act will expand capabilities for German authorities

The amended law will expand the capabilities of German authorities to transmit information to Europol and access information from Europol through the Federal Criminal Police Office. For instance, the circle of authorized agencies for accessing Europol data will be broadened, allowing not only the Customs Investigation Service but also other investigative authorities of customs and federal financial administration to access this information.

Recent cases underscore the importance of collaboration with Europol. In June 2024, a major operation against organized drug crime, involving the Central Office for the Prosecution of Organized Crime in North Rhine-Westphalia, customs authorities, and the State Criminal Police Office of Baden-Württemberg, in cooperation with Europol, resulted in the seizure of 35.5 tons of cocaine valued at approximately 2.6 billion euros.

Significant step

Europol plays a crucial role for Germany in combating cross-border crime, serving as the central hub for cooperation among EU member states in preventing and fighting crime.

These amendments to the Europol Act represent a significant step in strengthening international cooperation and enhancing the capabilities of German law enforcement agencies to combat organized crime effectively.

The new law can be found here.

More about Europol at can be found here.