EU-US cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs – an overview

06-04-2016

The United States is the key partner of the European Union in the area of justice and home affairs (JHA), including in the fight against terrorism. While formal cooperation on JHA issues between the US and the EU goes back to the 1995 New Transatlantic Agenda, it is since 2001 in particular that cooperation has intensified. Today, and for the period up until 2020, the key areas of transatlantic efforts in the JHA field are personal data protection, counter-terrorism and countering violent extremism, migration and border controls, tracing of firearms and explosives, money laundering and terrorism financing, cybercrime, drugs and information exchange. Regular dialogues at all levels, extensive operational cooperation and a series of legal agreements demonstrate the development of the transatlantic partnership on JHA. Assessments state that cooperation on law enforcement and counter-terrorism has led to hundreds of successful joint operations each year, and many foiled terrorist plots. Nevertheless, important challenges remain, in particular in light of the revelations of US mass surveillance activities and the resultant growth in EU concerns about US standards for data privacy. The European Parliament is making use of its extended powers in the JHA field, by urging a high level of data protection as well as effective and non-discriminatory means of redress for EU citizens in the US over improper use of their personal data.

The United States is the key partner of the European Union in the area of justice and home affairs (JHA), including in the fight against terrorism. While formal cooperation on JHA issues between the US and the EU goes back to the 1995 New Transatlantic Agenda, it is since 2001 in particular that cooperation has intensified. Today, and for the period up until 2020, the key areas of transatlantic efforts in the JHA field are personal data protection, counter-terrorism and countering violent extremism, migration and border controls, tracing of firearms and explosives, money laundering and terrorism financing, cybercrime, drugs and information exchange. Regular dialogues at all levels, extensive operational cooperation and a series of legal agreements demonstrate the development of the transatlantic partnership on JHA. Assessments state that cooperation on law enforcement and counter-terrorism has led to hundreds of successful joint operations each year, and many foiled terrorist plots. Nevertheless, important challenges remain, in particular in light of the revelations of US mass surveillance activities and the resultant growth in EU concerns about US standards for data privacy. The European Parliament is making use of its extended powers in the JHA field, by urging a high level of data protection as well as effective and non-discriminatory means of redress for EU citizens in the US over improper use of their personal data.