MEPs have agreed to increase the capacity of the European Union’s Law Enforcement Cooperation Agency (Europol) to support the fight against crime in EU member states.
This decision was announced by a statement published by the European Parliament, while stressing that member states will soon start negotiations in this regard, TheSchengen.com reports.
“The European Parliament has endorsed the decision of the Civil Liberties Committee to open negotiations on two proposals aimed at strengthening Europol’s mandate and balancing new capabilities with stronger guarantees and oversight of fundamental rights,” reads the statement published by the European Parliament.
The latest decision allows the European Police Agency to enter into the Schengen Information System (SIS) and exchange data with companies in order to detect and combat illegal acts within EU countries such as terrorism or child sexual abuse.
The Schengen Information System (SIS), which is among the most important information-sharing systems, aims to help countries tighten control over their borders and make Europe safe.
In addition, Europol will also assist in the processing of personal data in specific circumstances and assist in the development of projects in related fields.
The EU ambassadors agreed to negotiate a draft regulation to amend the Europol regulation regarding cooperation with private parties, namely the processing of personal data, in order to support criminal investigations and the role of research and innovation.
“Criminals are constantly adapting to the way they operate, and if we want to fight them successfully, we must. In the context of increasingly digital and cross-border crime, Europol is playing an increasing role in supporting member states and driving innovation in law enforcement,” noted Portugal’s Minister of Interior, Eduardo Cabreta. In this regard, the draft new rules will provide it with the necessary tools to achieve this.
According to the statement previously published by the European Commission, criminals are taking advantage of the advantages brought by digital transformation and seizing the opportunity during the Corona virus crisis to adapt their mood at work or develop new activities.
At the time, the EU Commission stressed that the draft regulation would allow Europol to support member states in fighting new threats.
European border security remains a priority for European authorities, especially after they recently faced an influx of migrants, as they continue to find new ways to deal with the current situation.