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  • Response of the UK delegation to 13370/99 EUROPOL 48

    EXTRACTED TEXT FROM:

    COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

    8 February 2000

    5845/00

    LIMITE

    EUROPOL 1

    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

    ANNEX VIII

    RESPONSE BY THE UK DELEGATION

    Recommendation 43 – Joint Investigation teams

    We welcomed your view as the Working Group meeting that joint investigation teams should be implemented without undue delay and that the re-opening of the Europol Convention will not be necessary to achieve this. The Tampere Conclusions gave a clear mandate that teams should be formally set up urgently reinforcing what had been set out in the Amsterdam Treaty. The reopening of the Convention and the work that this would entail even if the mandate is kept very limited will delay the process unnecessarily. We share the view that a framework decision will provide the necessary solution.

    Annex – Scenario for joint teams

    We are generally content with this paper. However, we believe that Europol should only be part of the process where it can add value within its mandated fields. We are not convinced that it will always be necessary for Europol personnel to be physically present in the Member States where operations are being conducted. We also have some concern over the scenarios for how a joint team will be initiated. We believe that a combination of the two scenarios a) and b) is preferable. I attach a possible amendment.

    Recommendation 44 – European Police Chiefs Operational Task Force

    As I indicated at the meeting we consider that it is for the Article 36 Committee to make a decision about where the Task Force will sit within the Council structure and to offer a steer on the best way to take the initiative forward.

    Very briefly, we are certain that the Task Force should consist of very senior level law enforcement officers who have the power to commit resources. In addition, we do not believe that it is appropriate or desirable or consistent with the Tampere recommendations for the  Task Force to be a working group of Europol, although it will be essential for the Task Force to forge a good working relationship with them.

    Recommendation 45

    Necessary support and resources

    No comments.

    Receiving operational data

    We believe that consideration needs to be given to how Europol will store « operational data ». Article 10 of the Europol Convention is quite specific concerning the handling and storage of personal « operational » data within the Europol Computer system. The « Analytical Work File » system being the only approved method.

    Europol to ask Member States to start investigations

    We do not believe that it will be necessary to re-open the Convention to achieve this.

    Recommendation 46 – Eurojust

    We consider it necessary to have further details of the purpose and role of Eurojust before we can offer substantial or meaningful comments on its interaction with Europol.

    Recommendation 51 – Transfer and analysis of operational data

    We believe that the tracing, seizure and confiscation of the proceeds of crime is not the same as money laundering. Careful analysis of the Tampere conclusions is required before we can be certain that this is what was intended or before Europol’s mandate is extended to cover these areas.

    Recommendation 56 – Money laundering

    We consider that the extension of Europol’s mandate to cover money laundering will probably require the re-opening of the Convention. However, if this is necessary we consider that it should be done in a highly restricted and constructive way. The Convention should be re-opened for this specific purpose only.

    ANNEX TO THE RESPONSE BY THE UK DELEGATION

    Scenario for Joint Teams with Member States representatives having national functions and powers and Europol in a co-ordinating or support role

    1. There are 2 scenarios for the formation of joint teams :

    a) A case is started in a Member State and the comperent law enforcement agency recognises the international dimension at an early stage. The Member State initiates a Joint Investigation Team with other Member States involvement and requests Europol’s participation.

    b) Europol receives information on an international case via information exchange, or as a result of the final outcome of intelligence work, Europol identifies criminal organisations acting on an international level in differing Member States. Europol draws this information to the attention of Member States who make a decision about the appropriateness of forming a joint team.

    2. Europol will have a role in promoting Joint Investigation Teams, when, as an outcome of its intelligence activities, Joint Investigation Teams will be established in order to target serious international crime at the operational level.

    3. These Joint Investigation Teams would operate on the basis of the project-based approach detailed within CRIMORG 167.

    ~~~~~

    Source of this document: SEMDOC database

    Statewatch European Monitoring and Documentation Centre

    e-mail: office@statewatch.org