UK opt-in to the Europol Regulation

The European Police Office (Europol) is the EU’s law enforcement agency which supports Member States efforts to tackle cross-border serious organised crime and terrorism. On 27 March 2013 the Commission published a draft Europol Regulation, which proposed certain changes to Europol’s operation, structure and accountability. The UK Government needs to decide, by 30 July 2013, if it wants to opt-in to this proposal. The Committee published its report on 7 July 2013, which recommended that the Government should opt-in, and was debated by the House on 1 July 2013.

The proposal makes provision for alterations to the way Europol is operated, structured and scrutinised. Specifically, there is a proposed merger of Europol and the European Police College (CEPOL). The proposal also sets out changes in the way data is shared with Europol by Member States as well as provisions to strengthen Europol's data protection regime. In addition, there are provisions to increase scrutiny of the agency and to ensure its accountability to the European Parliament and national parliaments.