DRAFT AGREEMENTS BETWEEN EUROPOL AND INTERPOL,
EUROPOL AND THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK, AND EUROPOL AND NORWAY
Draft model Agreement on co-operation with Third States.
Proposal for the content of an Exchange of Letters between
the General Secretary of Interpol and the Director of Europol,
as mentioned in Articles 13 and 14 of the Draft Agreement
between Interpol and Europol.
Draft Agreement between Interpol and Europol.
Draft Agreement between the European Police Office and the
European Central Bank.
Proposal for the content of an Exchange of Letters between
the President of the European Central Bank and the Director
of Europol as mentioned in Article 8 of the Draft Agreement
between the European Central Bank and Europol.
Draft Agreement between the Kingdom of Norway and the European Police Office.
||(d) and (e): Articles 42 EU, 10 and 18 of the
Europol Convention; consultation; unanimity
(b) (c) and (f)): Articles 42, 10 and 18 of the Europol
Convention and the Council Decision of 27 March 2000 authorising
the Director of Europol to enter into negotiations on agreements
with certain third states and non-EU related bodies; consultation;
|Deposited in Parliament:
||(b) to (e) 15 March 2001
(f) 16 March 2001
|Basis of consideration:
||EMs of 26 March 2001
|Previous Committee Report:
||(a) HC 34-xxviii (1998-99), paragraph 15 (20 October 1999)
(b) to (f) None
|To be discussed in Council:
||28-29 May 2001 |
||(a), (d) and (e) Cleared
(b), (c) and (f) Not cleared; further information requested
5.1 In October 1999, we cleared the Council
Decision which authorised the Director of Europol to enter into
negotiations with third states and non-EU related bodies.
In the same month, we considered, but did not clear, document
(a), a draft model co-operation agreement with third states, since
we understood it was likely to be revised.
5.2 The Council Decision includes a declaration
which requires the Europol Management Board to report to the Council
on the laws and administrative practices of the third state or
body, so that the Council can consider whether there are any obstacles
to the start of negotiations in respect of data protection before
issuing an Act authorising the start of negotiations. (These reports
are also considered by the Joint Supervisory Body (JSB) which
monitors Europol's activities in relation to data protection issues.)
We cleared the draft Council Act in respect of Interpol in July
The Council Act in respect of Norway was agreed at the JHA Council
in March. It was not deposited for scrutiny, but we had cleared
the relevant data protection report in January.
5.3 The Council Decision does not apply
to the European Central Bank (ECB), as it is an EU body.
The draft Agreements
5.4 The purpose of all the Agreements is
to enhance the co-operation between Europol and the party in question
in combating serious forms of international crime which are within
Europol's mandate. They are not identical, but all contain Articles
dealing with the exchange of information, confidentiality and
The draft Agreements with Interpol and the ECB
5.5 The Agreement between Europol and Interpol
is set out in document (c), and that between Europol and the ECB
in document (d). Document (b) outlines a proposal for the content
of an exchange of letters for regulating the determination of
liabilities and settlement of disputes as mentioned in Articles
13 and 14 of the Agreement between Europol and Interpol. Similarly,
document (e) outlines a proposal for the content of an exchange
of letters for regulating the settlement of disputes between Europol
and the ECB as mentioned in Article 8 of that draft Agreement.
5.6 Both draft Agreements contain provisions
aimed at combating the threat posed by counterfeiting the euro
currency, in line with recent Council Conclusions.
That is, indeed, the main thrust of the Agreement with the ECB,
which also contains provision for the co-ordination of public
relations efforts related to the forgery of the euro.
The draft Agreement with the Kingdom of Norway
5.7 The draft Agreement with Norway is set
out in document (f). It is is a fuller Agreement than the other
two and contains provisions about national contact points, competent
authorities and liaison officers.
5.8 This is the first draft Agreement relating
to a third state. It uses the model Agreement, document (a), as
The Government's view
5.9 The Minister of State at the Home Office
(Mrs Barbara Roche) tells us that the Government considers that
the agreements are important in the fight against organised crime
both within the EU and in other States where the organised crime
impacts upon the EU.
5.10 In her Explanatory Memorandum on the
agreement with Norway (document (f)), the Minister reminds us
that the Government had agreed to press for the inclusion of wording
on human rights safeguards in the draft model agreement, (document
(a)). She continues:
"The agreement with Norway does not include
such wording, but the Government does not consider that this is
essential for a country which is clearly within the framework
of the Schengen arrangements. The Government will consider the
need for human rights safeguards in any other third country agreements
with Europol on a case by case basis. All such agreements will
be submitted for Parliamentary scrutiny."
5.11 The Minister also tells us that any
agreements that are concluded may place extra demands on the Europol
budget, which is met by Member States. The UK contribution to
the total budget in 2001 will be 17.5%, via the National Criminal
Intelligence Service (NCIS).
5.12 Now that we have a draft Agreement
with a third State, and are given to understand by the Minister
that these will be considered on a case by case basis, we are
content to clear the draft model Agreement, document (a).
(We welcome the Minister's undertaking to consider the need for
human rights safeguards in future third country agreements with
5.13 We are also content to clear the
draft Agreement with the European Central Bank, and the proposed
content of an exchange of letters related to it, documents (d)
and (e), since the European Central Bank is a European Union body
and the provisions of the Council Decision5 do not
apply to it.
5.14 In relation to the Agreements with
Interpol and with Norway, however, the provisions of the Decision
do apply. We have welcomed the monitoring role of the Joint Supervisory
Body, and have looked out for its assessment at each stage of
the process. When we cleared the draft Council Act in respect
of Interpol,6 we specifically asked to be informed
of the Joint Supervisory Body's assessment of the draft Agreement.
It is disappointing, therefore, that there is no mention of the
Joint Supervisory Body in either of the Explanatory Memoranda
on documents (b), (c) and (f). We understand that this omission
may be because the Joint Supervisory Body's opinions on these
documents have not yet been received. Whatever the reason, given
our concern to ensure that the Joint Supervisory Body's views
are given due weight, we are not prepared to clear these draft
Agreements without knowing them.
5.15 Therefore, while we clear documents
(a), (d) and (e), we will keep documents (b), (c) and (f) under
scrutiny until we know the Joint Supervisory Body's opinions on
5 (20546) -; see HC 34-xxix (1998-99), paragraph 13
(27 October 1999). Back
-; see HC 23-xxv(1999-2000), paragraph 12 (19 July 2000). Back
14145/00; see HC 28-iv (2000-01), paragraph 10 (24 January 2001). Back
5238/01; see HC 28-viii (2000-01), paragraph 30 (14 March 2001). Back