Documents Considered by the Committee on 22 October 2014 - European Scrutiny Committee Contents

15 European Crime Prevention Network

Committee's assessment Politically important
Committee's decisionCleared from scrutiny

Document detailsCommission Report: Evaluation report on the European Union Crime Prevention Network
Legal base
DepartmentHome Office
Document number(34517), 17432/12, COM(12) 717

Summary and Committee's conclusions

15.1 The Commission report sets out the findings of an independent external evaluation of the European Union Crime Prevention Network ("EUCPN"), as well as a number of options for its future development.

15.2 The purpose of the EUCPN is to develop and maintain a broad range of contacts with crime prevention bodies, local authorities and partnerships, civil society, research institutions and non-governmental organisations across the EU in order to support the crime prevention activities of policymakers and practitioners at EU, national and local level. Member States are responsible for financing the EUCPN, but national contributions are small, with the bulk of funding coming from an EU grant (?845,000 for the period 2011-14). Our earlier Reports, listed at the end of this chapter, describe the origins and activities of the EUCPN since it was first established in 2001.

15.3 The options proposed in the Commission report to strengthen the EUCPN would have implications for the EU budget, as they envisage a doubling of its resources from ?300,000 per year in 2012 (when the report was published) to ?600,000 a year from 2014-16. This extra funding would support two additional staff in the EUCPN Secretariat and further website development and maintenance.

15.4 The Council Decision establishing the EUCPN is one of around 130 police and criminal justice measures adopted before the Lisbon Treaty took effect on 1 December 2009. As such, it is subject to the provisions contained in Article 10 of Protocol 36 to the EU Treaties which allow the UK to opt out en masse of pre-Lisbon police and criminal justice measures. When we last considered the Commission report, in February 2013, the Government had made clear that it intended to exercise this block opt-out, but had not at that stage, sought the approval of Parliament to do so. Following a debate and vote in both Houses in July 2013, the Government formally notified the EU institutions of the UK's decision to opt out en masse of pre-Lisbon police and criminal justice measures, including the EUCPN. It also indicated that it would seek to rejoin 35 measures subject to the UK's block opt-out.[43]

15.5 We held the Commission report under scrutiny for two reasons. First, we wished to ascertain whether the Government intended to seek to rejoin the Council Decision establishing the EUCPN. Second, we asked the Government for further information on the outcome of a bid for funding for the EUCPN covering the period 2014-16.

15.6 We note that the EUCPN has not sought or obtained any increase in funding for the period 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2016. We also note that the UK will no longer participate in the EUCPN once the UK's block opt-out takes effect on 1 December 2014. As we have no outstanding questions, we clear the Commission report from scrutiny.

Full details of the documents: Commission Report: Evaluation report on the European Union Crime Prevention Network: (34517), 17432/12, COM(12) 717.

The Minister's letter of 15 October 2014

15.7 The Minister for Modern Slavery and Organised Crime (Karen Bradley) informs us of the outcome of the EUCPN funding bid:

    "The EUCPN Secretariat has now confirmed that, following consultation with Member States, a funding bid was made to the Prevention of and Fight Against Crime fund (ISEC) (financed by the EU budget) that would maintain the financial status quo for the period 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2016, with no additional money for the Network above what was received during the previous budgetary cycle."

15.8 She confirms that the Government does not propose to seek to rejoin Council Decision 2009/902/JHA establishing the EUCPN, adding:

    "As a result, the UK will not be part of the EUCPN after 1 December this year. However, I can confirm that, irrespective of this decision, the UK can and will continue to cooperate with EU partners on cross-border law enforcement matters, including in respect of the sharing of information and best practice where appropriate, as this does not have to take place via the EUCPN."

Previous Committee Reports

Thirty-first Report HC 86-xxxi (2012-13), chapter 6 (6 February 2013); Twenty-seventh Report HC 86-xxvii (2012-13), chapter 4 (16 January 2013).

43   An initial list of 35 measures was published in July 2013 in Command Paper 8671. A revised list was published in July 2014 in Command Paper 8897. Back

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