Select Committee on European Communities Twelfth Report




  Europol's Management Board, consisting of a representative from each Member State, will be responsible for ensuring the proper running of Europol once the Convention enters into force.

  This regulation covers issues generally associated with meetings of a governing body: the frequency of meetings, the setting of agendas, the procedure for adopting agreements, the circulation of minutes and the provision of administrative support.

  The Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting in November 1995 gave its agreement in principle to these rules. The text is now frozen until formal adoption following the entry into force of the Convention.


  Europol's liaison officers are the representatives of the Member States at Europol. They will not be employed by Europol but will remain accountable to their national seconding authorities.

  This regulation covers the liaison officer's duties towards Europol and Europol's obligations to the liaison officers. It provides for liaison officers to co-operate actively amongst themselves and Europol, availability and leave arrangements as well the duty of Europol to provide liaison officers with conditions in which they can carry out their work effectively.

  The Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting in March 1996 agreed this measure in principle. It too is now frozen.


  The Europol Convention provides for the adoption of financial regulations, to cover in particular the drawing up of Europol's budget and the monitoring of its implementation.

  This regulation is based on a UK proposal, building on suggestions tabled by the Europol Drugs Unit and Spanish Presidency. It provides detailed rules aimed at ensuring that Europol's budget is used in accordance with the principles of sound financial management.

  The Justice and Home Affairs Council signalled its agreement in principle to this text at its meeting in March 1996. The text is to be submitted to Europol's auditing committee for an opinion once the Convention enters into force but is frozen until that time.


  Europol will collect, store and manipulate data in analytical work files for the purposes of developing intelligence to guide law enforcement investigations.

  The rules governing these files will build on Article 10 of the Convention and specify what particular categories of data may be held on the different individuals who may be of interest in an investigation (suspects, witnesses, victims etc). Developing other aspects of the Convention, this regulation will also contain provisions setting the basic conditions for storing data (for example, that it must be relevant and accurate and how this should be assessed), the time limits to apply to storage and the conditions under which data in an analysis file might be used.

  Although work on this regulation is advanced, there are a number of areas of detail yet to be resolved.


  The majority of staff working at Europol will not be liaison officers posted by the Member States but staff recruited by Europol and subject to Europol's own staff regulations.

  This regulation is intended to provide a comprehensive statement of the pay and conditions of service for Europol staff. It includes provisions for ensuring that suitably experienced staff from the Member States are employed in Europol's most sensitive posts whilst retaining the principle of free and open recruitment as far as possible. The regulation will cover all aspects of conditions of service including pay and allowances, discipline procedures and pension arrangements.

  A series of meetings of experts has produced a draft text of the majority of the detailed provisions which will make up this regulation. There is, however, a lot of detailed work still to be done.


  The protection of the confidentiality of sensitive data submitted by Member States and third parties for processing at Europol is a key issue.

  This regulation will set out arrangements for ensuring the security of Europol's premises, personnel and computer systems. It will build on existing security arrangements in national and other international organisations as far as possible, reflecting the particular nature of Europol's work.

  Work on this regulation is still at an early stage, concentrating on general principles.

Letter from Lord Tordoff, Chairman of the Committee to the Rt Hon Michael Howard, QC, MP, Home Secretary

  Thank you for your letter of 27 January on the Europol Implementing Regulations. I am pleased to receive your note setting out the progress to date of the Regulations being made in implementation of the Europol Convention. Even if some of these documents may not fall within the criteria for formal scrutiny by the Committee, this is, as you say, as important body of work whose progress the Committee will wish to monitor. There may be particular aspects into which one or more of the Sub-Committees may wish to make detailed enquiry.

  I would be grateful therefore if you would keep the Committee fully informed of developments, whether by explanatory note in those cases where scrutiny is required or by an up-dating note. It would be helpful if you could straightaway supply a more detailed note and any texts of the draft Regulations relating to the protection of confidentiality of data submitted by Member States and third parties for processing by Europol.

30 January 1997

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