EUROPOL IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS: PROGRESS TO DATE
RULES OF PROCEDURE OF EUROPOL'S MANAGEMENT BOARD
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.
RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF EUROPOL'S LIAISON OFFICERS
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
RULES GOVERNING EUROPOL'S ANALYTICAL WORK FILES
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.
CONDITIONS OF SERVICE FOR EUROPOL STAFF
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
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