PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR HOME AFFAIRS AND NATIONAL SECURITY: Malta hosts the signing of operational and strategic cooperation agreement between Europol and Denmark

The Ministry for Home Affairs and National Security hosted the signing ceremony of an operational and strategic cooperation agreement between Europol and Denmark. By virtue of this agreement Denmark, whilst not a fully-fledged member of the European Union’s law enforcement agency, will be able to share and exchange vital operational data with Europol.

The agreement was signed on Saturday, 29th April 2017 in Valletta, by Director of Europol Rob Wainwright, and by Director of the Danish National Police Svend Larsen, in the presence of Minister for Home Affairs and National Security of Malta Carmelo Abela.

The Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU has placed a particular emphasis on the need to improve the bloc’s internal security, inter alia through the enhancement of the exchange and management of information by national law and border management authorities. In this regard, avoiding information gaps is considered paramount.

In this context, and following the negative outcome of the referendum held on 3rd December 2015 on the adoption of EU rules on cross-border policing, Denmark risked finding itself in a position of not being able to share operational data with Europol. Such lack of operational co-operation would have led to serious intelligence and information gaps, thus putting the EU’s security at risk.

Through the goodwill of all the institutional actors involved, the procedural and substantive steps were successfully overcome in a record period of four months.

Minister Abela said: The rapid and successful handling of this dossier underlines the fact that the EU can deliver in a timely manner in order to protect its citizens. Every Member State is doing its utmost to strengthen the fight against terrorism and organised crime, but no Member State alone can be effective. Security threats are no longer confined by borders, but have the potential of easily spreading from one country to the next.

It is therefore most important for Member States to be coordinated in their struggle against organised crime and terrorism. Europol offers the most appropriate means for Member States to act together, to exchange important information between them, and to work in a coordinated manner, thus putting up a much stronger fight against the threats.

As EU Presidency, we are delighted to have provided the opportunity for our partner Member State to be able to sign its operational cooperation agreement with Europol in Malta, right before the entry into force of the new Europol legal framework. Through a strengthened mandate, as from the 1st of May 2017, Europol’s ability to support Member States in the fight against terrorism, cybercrime and other serious and organised crime will become a reality. The collaboration of each Member State, as well as of third countries, with Europol continues to strengthen our fight against crime. Such cooperation augurs well for the future of a safe and secure Europe.

Source: Government of Malta