13. DRAFT AGREEMENT BETWEEN EUROPOL AND
INTERPOL AND THE JOINT SUPERVISORY BODY'S OPINION ON IT
|Draft agreement between Interpol and Europol.|
Opinion of the Joint Supervisory Body in respect of the draft agreement to be signed between Europol and Interpol.
|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; unanimity
|Basis of consideration:||Minister's letter of 30 May 2002
|Previous Committee Reports:||HC 152-iv (2001-02), paragraph 6 (7 November 2001) and HC 152-xxviii (2001-02), paragraph 3 (8 May 2002)
|To be discussed in Council:||Already adopted
|Committee's assessment:||Politically important
|Committee's decision:||(Both) Cleared
13.1 We last considered these documents on the basis
of a Memorandum from the Information Commissioner. She reassured
us that the Joint Supervisory Board (JSB), which monitors Europol's
activities in relation to data protection issues, was satisfied
with the Agreement between Europol and Interpol and, in general,
considered that its observations were taken seriously by the Management
Board and especially by the Director. However, two points in her
Memorandum caused us some concern, and we raised them with the
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office (Mr
Bob Ainsworth), while keeping the documents under scrutiny.
The Minister's letter
13.2 The Minister has now written to address our points.
13.3 Having learned from the Information Commissioner's
Memorandum that the Director of Europol had authorised the communication
of data to the US authorities using the urgency procedure, we
asked whether there was any provision for notifying Parliament
about the use of this procedure. The Minister tells us:
"The decision of the Director of Europol to
transfer data to the United States under the urgency procedure
after the events of September 11th was quickly followed by the
conclusion of a draft Agreement between Europol and the USA (which
specifically excludes the transmission of personal data), and
work continues on an agreement that would include personal data.
"The Director informed the Management Board
and the Joint Supervisory Body (JSB) that he had transferred the
data, and the reasons for that decision as he is required to do
under the terms of the Europol Convention. There is no requirement
for such a decision to be reported to the Council, and no official
document for us to consider against the criteria for depositing
with the scrutiny committees. NCIS do inform the Home Office when
the urgency procedure is used, and we consider that the process
in place is adequate."
13.4 Our second point related to the JSB's concern that
Europol work on Member State Operational Projects With Europol
Support (MSOPES). (reported in the Memorandum) was outside the
Convention. The Minister reports:
"The Director of Europol and the Europol Management
Board do not agree that these projects contravene the Convention,
and discussions are continuing both in the Management Board and
between the Board and the JSB on how to resolve this issue. The
UK has put forward proposals on how this problem can be resolved.
The UK has taken part in these projects, recognising that there
are clear operational benefits in doing so, and will continue
to do so whilst working to resolve the matter."
13.5 We thank the Minister for his reply. Notification
that the urgency procedure has been used seems to us the kind
of issue which should be discussed as part of the debate on democratic
control of Europol. We hope the Minister will consider raising
it in relevant fora.
13.6 We now clear both documents.