MEPs endorse international agreement on sharing electronic evidence 


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  • The Council of Europe’s Budapest Convention on Cybercrime boosts international co-operation in fighting cybercrime 
  • A new protocol would modernise its provisions and allow authorities to directly cooperate with private service providers 

On Tuesday, MEPs gave their final approval to the ratification of the Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe’s Budapest Convention on Cybercrime.

The European Parliament plenary has endorsed the ratification of the Second Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe’s Budapest Convention on Cybercrime, an international agreement aiming to smoothen co-operation in fighting cybercriminality. The decision was adopted with 436 votes in favour, 168 against, and 35 abstaining.

The new Protocol seeks to modernise the provisions of the Convention to make it fit for present-day cybercrime challenges. It introduces the possibility of emergency mutual assistance between signatories, creates a legal framework for joint investigations, and makes it possible to collect evidence via videoconference where necessary. To facilitate the sharing of electronic evidence, the Protocol would allow signatories to directly contact service providers in other countries and request domain name registration information, subscriber information and traffic data. It also includes expedited procedures for data-sharing in emergency situations.


The Council of Europe’s Budapest Convention on cybercrime, a mutual-assistance and cooperation framework boosting its signatory parties’ ability to counteract online criminality, has been ratified by 68 countries, including most EU member states and allies such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Japan. Its Second Additional Protocol was opened to signatories on 12 May 2022, and will enter into force once it has been ratified by five parties.

In parallel with the process at the Council of Europe, EU lawmakers have been working on an EU-specific framework for sharing electronic evidence across borders. On 29 November 2022, negotiating teams reached an agreement on the new rules, which still needs to be endorsed by the full house of the European Parliament.