EXTRACTED TEXT FROM:
COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
8 February 2000
NOTE from General Secretariat to Europol Working Party
No. prev. doc.: 13370/99 EUROPOL 48
Subject : Comments by delegations to the “First reflections concerning the Tampere Conclusions as far as they relate to Europol” as contained in doc. 13370/99 EUROPOL 48
RESPONSE BY THE FINNISH DELEGATION
During her Presidency Finland expressed clearly her position concerning document Europol 48. However, we repeat our position as requested by the Portuguese Presidency.
1) Concerning recommendation 43 about the urgency to set up joint investigation teams Finland emphasizes that this is one of her primary goals in short term. It should be carried out in a way which does not require the reopening of the Europol Convention. A framework decision would thus be a functioning solution. Anyway, Europol’s appropriate involvement in the work of the joint investigation teams must be guaranteed.
2) Concerning recommendation 44 about the setting up of a European Police Chiefs operational Task Force we think that it is a good initiative which should be put into practise without reopening of the Europol Convention. The Task Force could well be established in some kind of a working relation with the HENU-meeting or alternatively as a body sui generis. In any case a decision on the level of representation in this operational Task Force is needed. It should be a forum of Police Chiefs who are directly involved in operational decision making process in their own country and who have a close connection to Europol.
3) As to recommendation 45 about the necessary support and resources for Europol we think that it is of utmost importance that Europol receives adequate budgetary, human and technical resources and that all Member States use Europol effectively also by feeding it with relevant information.
As regards receiving of operational data by Europol it must be noted that the Europol Convention already enables Europol to receive operational data from Member States. If this has not always been the case in practise the system for transferring of data to Europol could surely be further developed without amending the Europol Convention.
Also concerning the issue of Europol to ask Member State to start investigations we think that it could be carried out without amendments to the Europol Convention. Perhaps a framework decision would be an appropriate instrument to give this issue a more solid basis in the Member States’ legal framework.
4) As to the recommendation 46 on relation between Europol and Eurojust we think that it is necessary to get more detailed information about Eurojust and its future role before expressing firm opinions. In any case national consultations with the Ministries of Justice are needed and on EU level the decisions should be drafted jointly by relevant working groups..
Eurojust – which will be a forum of judicial authorities – should support the law enforcement operational activities. The added value of Eurojust will be in the fact that it brings different judicial authorities closer to each other for cooperation in their everyday work. The police should be directly involved in this work in practise because in many countries, e.g. in Finland, the police is considered to be one of the judicial authorities.
5) As to the recommendation 51 on tracing, seizure and confiscation of proceeds of crime we agree with the statement that economic crime is in the very heart of organised crime. We think that Europol should play a role in this respect first and foremost by providing relevant data to Member States.
If the intention of the recommendation is that Europole’s role should go beyond exchanging of information it should be studied carefully whether there is a need to amend the Europol Convention accordingly or not.
6) As to the recommendation 56 on extending Europol’s mandate to money laundering in general we think that it requires amending of the Europol Convention. Realizing the fact that money laundering is one of the key issues in terms of organised crime Finland is ready to reopen the Europol Convention for the purpose of including money laundering to the mandate of Europol.
Source of this document: SEMDOC database
Statewatch European Monitoring and Documentation Centre