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The EU police agency Europol will soon be able to step up efforts to fight terrorism, cybercrime and other criminal offences and respond faster, thanks to new governance rules endorsed by Civil Liberties Committee MEPs on Thursday. The new powers come with strong data protection safeguards and democratic oversight.

The draft rules, agreed by Parliament and Council in November last year and approved by 40 votes to 3, with 2 abstentions by the Civil Liberties Committee on Thursday, will enhance Europol's mandate to ensure that it is fully equipped to counter the rise in cross-border crimes and terrorist threats, in particular by making it easier for Europol to set up specialised units to respond immediately to emerging threats.

Read more about the new rules on Europol in the press release on the agreement reached with Council.

The Civil Liberties Committee vote paves the way for the final approval of the new rules by Parliament as a whole in Strasbourg early in May. The new rules will take effect on 1 May 2017.