Europol reform: agreement between EP and Council to boost data analysis and safeguards 

Notas de prensa 

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  • Europol will be able to pursue research projects and receive data from private parties 
  • Parliament secured the establishment of a Europol Fundamental Rights Officer  
  • EU Data Protection Supervisor to get new oversight powers over data processing 

EP and Council negotiators have agreed on a reform of Europol’s mandate, intended to boost its capability to process and analyse data while respecting privacy.

The updated mandate of the European police agency aims to strengthen its ability to support investigations carried out by member states. After the reform, Europol will be able to pursue research and innovation projects, process large datasets, and help national authorities screen foreign direct investment in security-related cases. Europol will also collaborate with the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) more closely.

When dealing with terrorist content or child sexual abuse material, Europol will be able to receive data from private companies, for example communication providers. In such cases, Europol will also be able to process personal data, but they will have to be deleted after a certain time. The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) will be able to access records of these data transfers on request.

Fundamental Rights Officer, EDPS to monitor compliance

During the negotiations, the Parliament’s team ensured that, before engaging in the use of data for research projects, Europol will have to consult a Fundamental Rights Officer and a Data Protection Officer. MEPs also pushed to limit the data provided by private parties to the least sensitive types.

EP negotiators also secured the right for Europol to ask member states to start investigations into crimes related to EU common interests, even if the crimes only concern one member state. Such investigations would be initiated by the Executive Director.

To balance the police agency’s new powers with appropriate oversight, the co-legislators agreed that the EDPS will have oversight over Europol’s personal data processing operations, and work together with the agency’s Data Protection Officer. Citizens will be able to consult personal data related to them by contacting authorities in member states, or Europol directly.

In parallel, technical discussions continue on a proposal that would allow Europol to introduce alerts to the Schengen Information System (SIS). The negotiators agreed in principle that Europol can propose information alerts to be added to the SIS.


After the agreement, rapporteur Javier Zarzalejos (EPP, ES) said: “With this Regulation, Europol gets fit for the challenges of the fight against serious and organised crime and terrorism. Excellent news for European Security.”

Next steps

This political agreement will have to be endorsed by the EP Civil Liberties committee and the Council, before a final vote in plenary and formal adoption by the Council of the EU.