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Parliamentary questions
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12 June 2017
Answer given by Mr Avramopoulos on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-001772/2017

1. While the Europol Regulation(1) stipulates Europol's task to refer terrorist material to online service providers, the success rate of take-downs by companies depends on cooperation developed with these companies. The EU Internet Forum has contributed significantly to the development of such cooperation: it has allowed the EU Internet Referral Unit within Europol (EU IRU), one of its key stakeholders, to build solid and long-standing relations, reach out to new Internet companies to raise awareness of terrorists' exploitation of their platforms and exchange and train on best referral practices.

2. The Commission does not have statistics on the proportion of illegal content referred by EU IRU. It should be noted that the baseline for referrals is its mandate, the EU legal framework on terrorist offences(2) as well as the terms and conditions set by the companies. When the EU IRU scans for terrorist material it refers it to the company where it assesses it to have breached their terms and conditions.

3a. The EU IRU has referred some 636 cases to Member States for de-confliction, representing 2.2% of the total number of referrals. The IRU has received some 2762 cases from Member States for further referrals to companies, i.e. 9% of the total number of referrals.

3b. The EU IRU does not keep any statistics of how many of the referrals to Member States led to the opening of an investigation.

(1)Cf. Regulation (EU) 2016/794 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2016 on the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) and replacing and repealing Council Decisions 2009/371/JHA, 2009/934/JHA, 2009/935/JHA, 2009/936/JHA and 2009/968/JHA, OJ L 135, 24.5.2016, p. 53‐114.
(2)Directive (EU) 2017/541 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2017 on combating terrorism and replacing Council Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA and amending Council Decision 2005/671/JHA, OJ 2017 L 88 of 2017-03-30, p. 6-21.

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