Select Committee on European Scrutiny Thirty-Ninth Report







Council Act drawing up a Protocol amending the Convention on the establishment of a European Police Office (Europol Convention) and the Protocol on the privileges and immunities of Europol, the members of its organs, the deputy directors and the employees of Europol.

Legal base:

Article 43 (1) Europol Convention and Article 18 of the Protocol on the privileges and immunities of Europol, the members of its organs, the deputy directors and employees of Europol; consultation; unanimity


Deposited in Parliament:

4 October 2002


Home Office

Basis of consideration:

EM of 17 October 2002

Previous Committee Report:

None; but see (23391) 6791/2/02: HC 152-xxvi (2001-02), paragraph 6 (24 April 2002)

To be discussed in Council:

28-29 November 2002

Committee's assessment:

Politically important

Committee's decision:




    1. This draft Council Act amends the Europol Convention to allow for Europol's participation in joint investigation teams and to grant it the right to ask Member States to initiate investigations in specific cases. In April, we cleared a Presidency note on the text [72], with the proviso that the final legislative version should be deposited for scrutiny.
    2. The document

    3. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office (Mr Bob Ainsworth ) has now deposited the final legislative version of the proposal, together with an Explanatory Memorandum.
    4. There are very few changes from the previous text. The Europol Management Board is tasked with determining the administrative rules for Europol's participation in joint investigation teams, and with acting by a two-third majority in any disputes between a Member State and Europol concerning liability arising from such participation. In addition, the wording with regard to liability has been redrafted to read:
    5. "Europol officials shall, with respect to offences committed against or by them, be subject to national law of the Member State of operation applicable to persons with comparable functions."

      The Government's view

    6. The Minister states that the Government attaches importance to early amendment of the Europol Convention to enable Europol officials to participate in joint investigation teams in a support capacity. It welcomes and supports the provisions dealing with liabilities and privileges.
    7. The Minister also tells us that legislation introduced in clauses 102-104 of the Police Reform Act 2002 covers the issues of criminal and civil liabilities in relation to members of joint investigation teams. Such members could include Europol officials.
    8. Finally, the Minister says that the Presidency is expected to submit the proposal for adoption at the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 28-29 November.
    9. Conclusion

    10. We are pleased to see that the final legislative version of this proposal meets our earlier concerns about the liability of Europol officials. We clear the document.


72  (23391) 6791/2/02: see headnote to this paragraph. Back

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Prepared 11 November 2002