COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
14 February 2000
5845/00 ADD 2
NOTE from General Secretariat to Europol Working Party
No. prev. doc.: 5845/00 EUROPOL 1 + ADD 1
Subject : Danish delegation’s comments on the “First reflections concerning the Tampere Conclusions as far as they relate to Europol” (13370/99 EUROPOL 48)
At the European Council meeting in Tampere on 15 and 16 October, it was decided that, in accordance with Article 30(2)(a) of the TEU, joint investigative teams should be set up swiftly with Europol participation in a support capacity.
Point 43 of the Presidency conclusions of the European Council meeting in Tampere states that the European Council considers that maximum benefit should be derived from cooperation between Member States’ authorities when investigating cross-border crime in any Member State. The European Council calls for joint investigative teams as provided for in the Treaty to be set up without delay, as a first step, to combat trafficking in drugs and human beings as well as terrorism. The European Council considers it important that the rules to be set up in this respect should allow representatives of Europol to participate, as appropriate, in such teams in a support capacity.
No deadline was set in the conclusions of the Tampere meeting for drawing up rules for joint investigative teams.
In 13370/99 Europol 48 and 5858/00 Cats 6 the Presidency proposed that an EU instrument be adopted concerning the setting up of joint investigative teams.
2. Denmark’s position
Denmark generally welcomes the Presidency’s proposal. In this connection, Denmark considers that Article 13 of the draft Convention on Mutual Assistance is adequate for interpreting the framework for such joint investigative teams. The draft Convention on Mutual Assistance should therefore obviously serve as a basis when adopting an EU instrument.
Under Article 13 of the draft Convention on Mutual Assistance, two or more Member States can agree to set up joint investigative teams with the aim of coordinating investigations and prosecution in cases involving cross-border crime. The provision is optional, which means that the Member States are not obliged to set up or participate in any joint investigative teams.
The intention is that joint investigative teams should be set up in particular where investigations into a criminal case or a series of criminal cases demonstrate that there is a need for investigations in several Member States. Depending on national legislation and actual needs, investigative teams may include police officers, prosecutors, examining magistrates and representatives of international organisations such as for example Europol or OLAF.
An investigative team will be led by a representative of the competent authorities of the country in which the team is established and the team will comply with that country’s national legislation. An investigative team does not have powers to act independently, but the members appointed to a team, including foreign members, are entitled to be present during the investigations.
As a first step, investigative teams should be set up chiefly with the aim of combating drug crime, trafficking in human beings and terrorism. However, in the long run the possibility of joint investigative teams also being set up to combat other types of crime cannot be ruled out. Denmark therefore considers it essential that an EU instrument setting up joint investigative teams should not be restricted to the fight against drug crime, trafficking in human beings and terrorism, as this might mean that a new instrument would have to be adopted if an extension were subsequently desired.
In conclusion, Denmark considers it essential that an EU instrument should contain provisions to ensure that information is communicated within the framework of the joint investigative teams in accordance with national law.
Source of this document: SEMDOC database
Statewatch European Monitoring and Documentation Centre