Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group on Europol (JPSG) on 23-24 September 2019

The Fifth Meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group on Europol took place on 23 and 24 September 2019 in the European Parliament in Brussels. It was co-organised and co-chaired by the European Parliament and the Finnish Parliament. The meeting brought together 65 Parliamentarians of 37 Parliaments/Chambers from 27 Member States and 12 MEPs from the European Parliament delegation to the JPSG, re-established following the European elections.

Finnish Minister of Interior, Ms Ohisalo, JPSG Co-Chair Mr López Aguilar and JPSG Co-Chair Ms Talvitie

Over the years, Europol has provided indispensable support to Members States, in line with its mission to strengthen action by the Member States' police authorities and other law enforcement services in preventing and combating serious crime affecting two or more Member States. The JPSG carries out a unique form of political scrutiny of Europol, undertaken by the European Parliament, together with national Parliaments.

The agenda of the meeting featured a lively exchange of views with Ms De Bolle, the Executive Director of Europol, on Europol activities from March to September 2019, the Europol Draft Multiannual Programming Document 2020-2022 and the main challenges ahead, including budgetary ones. Parliamentarians gained valuable insight of the most recent activities of Europol from Mr Andrei Linta, Chairperson of the Europol Management Board and Ms Oana Florea, former JPSG co-chair, who reported on the Management Board meeting she was invited to attend.

Their presentations were followed by an in-depth exchange of views with the European Data Protection Assistant Supervisor and the Chair ofthe Europol Cooperation Board on the latest developments on the protection of personal data, with regard to Europol's activities. JPSG members paid tribute to late Giovanni Buttarelli, former European Data Protection Supervisor.

The second day of the conference continued with an extensive keynote address by the Minister of Interior of Finland Ms Maria Ohisalo on topics ranging from the internal security of the EU and the need to enhance EU information systems and their interoperability, to the fight against terrorism, improved border management, and the reform of the Common European Asylum System.

The thematic debate focused on Europol's information management priorities and the panellists were Mr Luis De Eusebio Ramos, Deputy Executive Director of Europol for Capabilities and Mr Anssi Kangas, Chief Superintendent of the National Police Board of Finland.

The most notable procedural development was the upgrade of the status of the Parliament of Denmark from the former status of observer to that of a Member with limited rights in the JPSG.

Sir Julian King, Commissioner for Security Union, addressed JPSG members at a reception in the House of European History, outlining the security challenges the Union is currently facing and urging parliamentarians to continue their valuable work in this field.

The meeting was co-chaired by Ms Mari-Leena Talvitie, Head of delegation of the Finnish Parliament to the JPSG and Mr Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Head of the delegation of the European Parliament to the JPSG.

The next meeting will be held in Zagreb on 22-23 March 2020. It will be co-organised by the European Parliament and the Croatian Parliament.

Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group on Europol (JPSG) on 23-24 September 2019

The thematic debate of the 5th JPSG will focus on Europol's priorities on information management.

The Fifth Meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group on Europol will take place on 23 and 24 September 2019 in the European Parliament in Brussels. It is co-organised and co-chaired by the European Parliament and the Finnish Parliament.

The Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group (JPSG) is a unique form of scrutiny on the functioning of Europol by the European Parliament, together with national Parliaments.

The meeting will tackle a number of concrete issues regarding the Europol Regulation, including a keynote speech by the Minister of Interior of Finland, Ms Maria Ohisalo, as well as several presentations by Ms Catherine De Bolle, Europol Executive Director.

The thematic debate will focus on Europol's priorities on information management in 2019. Other topics high on the agenda include the fight against cybercrime, the structure of organised crime groups in the EU, money laundering and child pornography. The revision of the Rules of Procedure of the JPSG is an important topic on the agenda as well.

The JPSG is expected to play an essential role to politically monitor Europol's activities in fulfilling its mission, including the impact of those activities on the fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons.

The tasks and responsibilities of the JPSG include inter alia the right to question the Chairperson of the Management Board of Europol, the Executive Director of Europol or their deputies as well as the European Data Protection Supervisor; the right to be consulted in relation to Europol's multiannual programming; the right to request relevant documents necessary to the fulfilment of its tasks; and the right to draw up summary conclusions on the political monitoring of Europol's activities.

3rd meeting of the The Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group (JPSG) on Europol, 24-25 September 2018

The Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group (JPSG) is a unique form of scrutiny on the functioning of Europol by the European Parliament, together with national Parliaments.

On 11 May 2016, Regulation (EU) 2016/794 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) was adopted. The new regulation empowered Europol and enabled a joint parliamentary scrutiny by the European Parliament together with national Parliaments on it.

According to Article 51 of the Europol Regulation, the JPSG will play an essential role to "politically monitor Europol's activities in fulfilling its mission, including as regards the impact of those activities on the fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons."

The Conference of Speakers, at its meeting on 24 April 2017 agreed that the JPSG will meet twice a year. In the first half of the year, the JPSG is to meet in the Parliament of the country holding the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union while, in the second half of the year, the JPSG will hold a meeting in the European Parliament.

In line with the Speakers' Conference conclusions, the constituent meeting of the JPSG, took place in the European Parliament on 9 and 10 October 2017, while the second meeting took place on 18 and 19 March 2018 in Sofia, Bulgaria. At the latter, the Rules of Procedure for the JPSG were adopted.

The tasks and responsibilities of the JPSG as set out in Article 51 of the Regulation (EU) 2016/794, and include inter alia the right to question the Chairperson of the Management Board of Europol, the Executive Director of Europol or their deputies as well as the European Data Protection Supervisor; the right to be consulted in relation to Europol's multiannual programming; the right to request relevant documents necessary to the fulfilment of its tasks; and the right to draw up summary conclusions on the political monitoring of Europol's activities.

Constituent Meeting of the JPSG on Europol, 9-10 October 2017