DRAFT AGREEMENT BETWEEN EUROPOL AND THE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Draft agreement between Europol and the United States of America.
|Legal base:||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 ; unanimity
|Deposited in Parliament:
||1 November 2001|
||Home Office |
|Basis of consideration:
||EM of 13 November 2001
|Previous Committee Report:
|To be discussed in Council:
26.1 In its Conclusions, the special Justice
and Home Affairs Council on 20 September (which was called to
discuss the EU response to the terrorist attacks on the USA of
11 September) invited the Director of Europol to "finalise
the formal agreement with the United States as quickly as possible
so that the Council may authorise its conclusion at its meeting
on 16 November 2001".
In the event, the draft Agreement was not on the agenda for that
Council, but it is still being accorded a high priority.
The draft Agreement
26.2 The purpose of the draft Agreement is to
enhance the co-operation between the USA and Europol in combating
serious forms of international crime which are within Europol's
mandate, in particular through the exchange of strategic and technical
information. Unlike any of the previous agreements we have considered,
this one specifically excludes the transmission of personal data.
(The last sentence of Article 1 states: "This agreement does
not authorise the transmission of data related to an identified
individual or identifiable individuals.")
26.3 The agreement contains provisions for the
identification of a national contact point, for the exchange of
information and expertise, for regular consultation between the
parties, and for the assignment of liaison officers, if required.
The Government's view
26.4 The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State
at the Home Office (Mr Bob Ainsworth) comments:
"The Government considers
that the agreement allowing exchanges of information between Europol
and the United States of America is important in the fight against
serious forms of international crime both within the EU and in
countries outside the EU whose organised crime activity impacts
upon the EU. The present agreement specifically excludes the exchange
of personal data. The improvement of strategic links, and the
potential for the exchange of liaison officers is considered important
enough to conclude an agreement which does not include personal
data. The next steps will include a study of the legal and data
protection provisions of both parties, prior to the conclusion
of an agreement in this area. However, that should not delay the
exchange of information in the area of strategic and tactical
information, as set out in the present agreement."
26.5 The Minister also tells us that the Belgian
Presidency intends the Agreement to be concluded before the end
of the year.
26.6 In our recent report on the draft Agreement
between Europol and Interpol,
we said that we required sight of the relevant Joint Supervisory
Opinions before we could consider clearing any future draft agreements.
We will make an exception in this case, since the Agreement specifically
excludes the transmission of personal data. In our view, both
the practicality and the value of omitting personal data transmission
from the draft Agreement seem open to question.
However, we note the Minister's comments about the importance
of improved strategic links and the possibility of exchanging
26.7 We also note that an Agreement about
the transmission of personal data is planned. We remind the Minister
that we will require sight of the Joint Supervisory Board Opinion
on that Agreement, together with a detailed Explanatory Memorandum.
We ask to receive both in good time.
26.8 Meanwhile, we clear this document.
73 Section III, paragraph 5. Back
example, (22217) - ; see HC 152-iv (2001-02), paragraph 6 (7
November 2001). Back
- ; see HC 152-iv (2001-02), paragraph 6 (7 November 2001). Back
JSB monitors Europol's activities in relation to data protection