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Document 52013SC0099

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF THE IMPACT ASSESSMENT on merging the European Police College (Cepol) and the European Police Office (Europol) and implementing a European police training scheme for law enforcement officials Accompanying the document Proposal for a EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT and COUNCIL REGULATION ON THE EUROPEAN UNION AGENCY FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT COOPERATION AND TRAINING (EUROPOL) AND REPEALING COUNCIL DECISIONS 2009/371/JHA AND 2005/681/JHA

/* SWD/2013/099 final */

52013SC0099

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF THE IMPACT ASSESSMENT on merging the European Police College (Cepol) and the European Police Office (Europol) and implementing a European police training scheme for law enforcement officials Accompanying the document Proposal for a EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT and COUNCIL REGULATION ON THE EUROPEAN UNION AGENCY FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT COOPERATION AND TRAINING (EUROPOL) AND REPEALING COUNCIL DECISIONS 2009/371/JHA AND 2005/681/JHA /* SWD/2013/099 final */


COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF THE IMPACT ASSESSMENT on merging the European Police College (Cepol) and the European Police Office (Europol) and implementing a European police training scheme for law enforcement officials

Accompanying the document

Proposal for a EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT and COUNCIL REGULATION

ON THE EUROPEAN UNION AGENCY FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT COOPERATION AND TRAINING (EUROPOL) AND REPEALING COUNCIL DECISIONS 2009/371/JHA AND 2005/681/JHA

1. Introduction

This impact assessment is also an ex ante evaluation.

2. Consultation and expertise 2.1. Evaluation and preparatory studies

A five-year evaluation of CEPOL was carried out in 2010-2011 as required by the CEPOL Decision[1]. The final report was submitted to CEPOL’s Governing Board on 31.1.2011[2]. An external study was commissioned to support the preparation of this impact assessment[3].

2.2. Consultations

The future role of CEPOL was discussed at several workshops to prepare the European Law Enforcement Training Scheme organised by the Commission in 2011-2012.

2.3. Scrutiny by the Commission’s Impact Assessment Board

The Commission’s Impact Assessment Board assessed draft versions of this impact assessment and issued opinions on 20.7.2012, 10.10.2012 and 15.1.2013. The recommendations made by the IAB are reflected in this impact assessment.

3. Problem definition 3.1. Context and external drivers

There are two main drivers behind the problems identified below: one relates to CEPOL’s structure and governance, the other to law enforcement training.

3.1.1. Overview of the existing police training system in the EU

Law enforcement authorities in Member States have broadly comparable structures. Altogether 21 Member States have a single police agency and the other six have more than one. As many as 12 EU agencies and international organisations, including CEPOL, Europol and Frontex, report some involvement in law enforcement training.

CEPOL organises courses and develops common curricula on the EU dimension of policing, both in the national academies and at CEPOL itself, and disseminates best practice and research findings. CEPOL training is delivered by national experts, rather than CEPOL staff. Each year there are around 2 000 participants in CEPOL on-site training and about 100 to 200 participants in exchange programmes and (since 2011) e-learning activities. CEPOL is one of the smallest EU agencies in terms of budget (€ 8.3 million in 2011).

3.1.2. Driver 1: Increased political awareness of EU priorities for tackling cross-border crime

The EU Internal Security Strategy adopted in 2010 identified challenges, principles and guidelines for dealing with security issues in the EU, including actions now being implemented and underpinned by appropriate training. In June 2011 Council endorsed eight priorities for the fight against organised crime.

3.1.3. Driver2: Legal and political developments in police cooperation and police learning

Under the Lisbon Treaty, operational cooperation on internal security is to be promoted and strengthened, with a particular focus on specific forms of serious and organised crime. The EU has put in place a system for setting priorities through the Internal Security Strategy, to be supported by mutual trust and capacity building. The European Council in 2009 stressed the need to create a genuine European law enforcement culture through setting up European law enforcement training schemes and exchange programmes for all relevant law enforcement professionals at national and EU level by 2015, and stated that CEPOL should play a key role in ensuring the European dimension. The European Parliament also called in 2009 for a coherent approach to the delivery of training for law enforcement officers across the EU.

The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission have jointly set out a Common Approach on EU agencies, including their management structure and governance, operations and funding and budget-setting[4].

3.2. Defining the problem 3.2.1. Problem 1: Lack of knowledge about the EU dimension of policing

Most law enforcement officers in the EU do not have the knowledge necessary for cooperating effectively in the fight against priority cross-border criminal activities.

Problem 1a     European training does not reach all officers who need it

CEPOL training is targeted, in line with the CEPOL Decision, at senior or mid-ranking officers, with little emphasis on thematic training for other officers who may need it. By the end of 2009, only 1.6 % of senior police officers in the EU had received CEPOL training. In 2010 only 13 to 15 Member States sent officers to receive training. Courses fail to achieve full attendance. This may be because attendance is not formally recognised or certified as a qualification. Member States do not usually have a specific budget to send officers to receive training. In some Member States authorisation procedures for attending are complex and time-consuming. While some Member States have developed plans for cascading knowledge acquired through CEPOL training, dissemination tends to be informal and inadequate. Language can also be an obstacle: most training is in English, which can deter many officers.

Problem 1b     Insufficient coordination between CEPOL, Member States and other agencies

Despite cooperation agreements between justice and home affairs agencies, there is a lack of systematic coordination on training in line with the recent EU strategic objectives. Training programmes are insufficiently focused and joined-up: 27 % of national academies reported overlaps between CEPOL training activities and training delivered nationally. Agency business plans are rarely aligned and duplication is common. There are also logistical overlaps, e.g. training provided by different agencies on the same dates.

3.2.2. Problem 2: CEPOL's current governance and structure reduce the effectiveness of training

CEPOL's governance and structure inhibit its ability to be fully effective as an instrument of EU policy.

Problem 2a     Governing Board lacks appropriate focus

Following the five-year evaluation decision-making has improved, but the governance and structure of CEPOL remains out of date. The Governing Board tends to focus on minor, administrative matters and not enough on strategy. The CEPOL Decision does not focus the Board’s tasks on strategic matters. The Board’s size — typically 45-50 Member State participants at each meeting — hampers swift decision-making and creates disproportionate costs. A high turnover of participants creates a constant need for new members to take time to gain familiarity with the work. The Board has no clear representative of the EU interest, as the Commission is a non-voting observer; this contradicts the Common Approach for agencies.

Problem 2b     Member States’ engagement with CEPOL's activities is inconsistent

The role of national contact points is to ‘ensure effective cooperation between CEPOL and the [national] training institutes’. Despite several attempts by the Board to address this, responsibilities of the contact points remain unclear. Some Member States do not have sufficient full-time officers in their contact points, which can weaken CEPOL’s ability to coordinate training and hinders cooperation between CEPOL and Member States.

Problem 2c      Poor financial planning for training activities by Member States

Operational expenditure — mainly for training activities — constitutes over half of planned expenditure. Member States tend to submit their plans too late in the year, meaning that courses have to be compressed into the remaining months of that year, and increasing the likelihood of under-attendance. Between 2006 and 2010, Member States (responsible for delivery of CEPOL training) cancelled or postponed 13 % of courses, despite a target of only 5 %.

The current system to ensure that training activities correspond to the actual needs for spreading knowledge on EU tools and policies remains suboptimal. There is no definition of needs assessment at EU level against which national assessments can be considered. The results and impact of activities are not systematically fed back to improve planning of future activities.

3.3. The EU’s right to act and subsidiarity

Article 87(2)(b) TFEU provides a framework for replacing the CEPOL Decision. The strengthening of CEPOL’s legal basis is supported by several important EU policy documents.

As regards subsidiarity, the issues to be addressed relate to training of police officers across the EU, the provision of common competences and the strengthening of an EU police culture. The proposal would be without prejudice to national initiatives taken by the Member States in the field of training for law enforcement officials.

4. Policy objectives 4.1. General objective

Improve policing in the EU by establishing a learning system for law enforcement officers consistent with evolving strategic priorities for police cooperation.

4.2. Specific objectives

Specific objective 1

Ensure better-quality, more joined-up and more consistent training in cross-border crime issues for a wider range of law enforcement officers.

Specific objective 2

Establish a clear framework for training police in accordance with EU training needs, in line with the Common Approach to EU agencies.

5. Policy options 5.1. European Law Enforcement Training Scheme

Alongside its proposal for reforming CEPOL, the Commission is presenting a European Law Enforcement Training Scheme (LETS) for law enforcement officials. This will set out how training should be implemented in a coordinated manner to build up the EU’s capacity to face common challenges. The LETS will specify the content of training, who should be trained on what, and who in the EU or at national level will provide the training.

5.2. Policy options

Option 1 (status quo): Promote LETS without amending CEPOL’s legal basis

Certain Member States have opposed amending the current CEPOL framework, which in their view provides sufficient training. Most Member States consulted consider, however, that the legal basis needs to be recast to develop and update training policy. Under its current legal basis, CEPOL could only partially implement the LETS because its competence is restricted to senior officers.

Option 2: Member State-based training as part of an EU network

CEPOL would be disbanded as an agency. Coordination and liaison would continue on an intergovernmental basis with a small secretariat provided by the Commission, as was the case prior to the CEPOL Decision. Some posts would be transferred to other EU agencies to take over some CEPOL activities. This option would follow the model of the European judicial training network, and would result in immediate direct cost savings. It is opposed by all Member States.

Option 3: Discontinue all EU financial support for training

CEPOL would be disbanded and the EU would cease to allocate any funding for police training, except sector-specific training provided by other agencies. The Commission and Europol could identify training needs which would fall to Member States to address. Withdrawal of all EU support for training involvement is a radical option meriting examination. It is opposed by all Member States as being a return to a previously inefficient situation.

Option 4a: Partial transfer of CEPOL functions to Europol; CEPOL to implement LETS

CEPOL would remain a separate agency but share corporate services and infrastructure with Europol. The existing HQ would be closed and the Governing Board, Director and operational staff would co-locate with Europol. The CEPOL Decision would be amended to address the problems of governance and training quality, and to ensure that the LETS is implemented.

Parliament asked the Commission to explore the possibility of integrating CEPOL with Europol. Such a partial merger would allow governance issues to be addressed, would be in line with the Common Approach on agencies and would enable non-operational functions to be rationalised. Member States’ representatives opposed this option, stating that it would be a first step in the disappearance of a training agency with its own identity.

Option 4b: Functions of Europol and CEPOL merged into a single agency; the merged agency (Europol) to implement LETS

CEPOL and Europol would be formally merged. CEPOL’s headquarters would be closed and operational posts transferred to Europol. CEPOL’s tasks would be added to the functions of Europol. A new Europol deputy director for training would contribute to the draft Europol budget, which would allocate appropriate resources to training in accordance with training needs assessments under the LETS. Alternate members of the Management Board of Europol would be training specialists. A scientific committee would advise on training issues.

For the 2014 budget CEPOL is classed as a ‘new tasks’ agency, which means that while it is subject to the objective of staff reductions it may also request new posts from a pool for new tasks. The necessary exercise of reprioritisation, reallocation and seeking efficiency gains would be better addressed within a bigger structure. By eliminating administrative overlaps between the two agencies, a bigger share of the staff could be allocated to training activities. This could allow budget-neutral implementation (in terms of staff) of the LETS.

A merger would create difficulties in recruiting new staff until the transfer was effective. It would therefore be necessary for the two agencies, with support from the Commission, to analyse quickly implications for individual staff. Transition would be managed by the CEPOL Director.

A merger is opposed by many Member States on the grounds that, in a single agency, quality and commitment to training activities would be weakened by such close proximity to operational priorities, although certain Member States expressed willingness to consider benefits and costs. Any rationalisation measure would be compatible with the position of the Council in the 2013 EU budget negotiations, which called for a 1 % reduction in agencies’ budgets, and with that of the European Parliament, which in the multiannual framework negotiations has recommended exploring the scope for pooling resources and cost savings among agencies.

Option 5: Strengthen and streamline CEPOL

CEPOL'’s role would be clarified and reinforced, requiring some additional staff. The CEPOL Decision would be amended to address the problems of governance and training quality. This would be in line with the Common Approach on agencies and respond to calls from many Member States for a stronger CEPOL and a more coherent training policy.

6. The preferred policy option

For the LETS to be fully implemented (and thus to meet specific objective 1 defined above) it is necessary (i) for an EU agency to be given responsibility to coordinate its implementation; (ii) for the agency’s (as compared to CEPOL’s) mandate to be extended to training of all relevant police officers; and (iii) for the agency to be granted additional resources. Options 2 and 3 (no agency) do not achieve (i). Options 1 (status quo) and 5 (strengthen CEPOL) do achieve (i) and option 5 achieves (ii); but both options 1 and 5 would leave CEPOL dependent on the uncertainties of finding new resources and thus risk not achieving (iii). Options 4a (partial merger) and 4b (full merger) achieve (i) and (ii), but also (iii) by providing for cost savings that can fund (option 4b) or partially fund (option 4a) implementation of the LETS.

Option 4b is therefore the preferred option. It would achieve savings, so posts could be redeployed to implement the LETS. There would be short-term disruption that would have to be minimised, but in the longer term there would be additional flexibility to redeploy according to priorities. Swift decision-making and adequate preparation of the merger by both agencies would mitigate any negative impact for the staff and activities of either agency. Governance would be aligned more closely with the Common Approach on agencies. Ongoing training needs evaluations would ensure that the agency’s activities remain relevant to the EU’s cross-border police cooperation priorities. It would be easier to improve coordination with other agencies.

Overall, option 4b — merging CEPOL and Europol — would permit effective implementation of the European Law Enforcement Training Scheme for law enforcement officials and thereby reinforce EU police training, making it more efficient and effective, and help close the skills and knowledge gap among law enforcement officers.

[1]               Study on Five Years evaluation of CEPOL activity 21.1.2011. Consortium Blomeyer & Sanz, Centre for Strategy and Evaluation Studies LLP and Evalutility Ltd.

[2]               www.cepol.europa.eu.

[3]               Study on the amendment of the Council Decision 2005/681/JHA setting up CEPOL activity. Final Report 24.4.2012 — GHK Consultants.

[4]               Joint Statement, 12 June 2012; http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/12/604&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en.

COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF THE IMPACT ASSESSMENT on adapting the European police Office's legal framework with the Lisbon Treaty

Accompanying the document

Proposal for a EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT and COUNCIL REGULATION

ON THE EUROPEAN UNION AGENCY FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT COOPERATION AND TRAINING (EUROPOL) AND REPEALING COUNCIL DECISIONS 2009/371/JHA AND 2005/681/JHA

Article 88 of the TFEU provides for a new legal basis for Europol (regulation) and for the scrutiny of its activities by the European Parliament together with national parliaments.

In addition, the Stockholm Program[1] has stressed that organised crime has become more globalised, that the fight against it requires, inter alia, systematic exchange of information and called for Europol to become a “hub for information exchange between the law enforcement agencies of the Member States, a service provider and a platform for law enforcement services[2]".

An evaluation study confirms that Europol adds value to the security of European citizens and has a robust data protection regime. Nevertheless, it identified a number of areas where improvements are needed to allow Europol to meet the goals of the Stockholm Programme.

This reform is intended to form a part of a wider package which includes a proposal to merge the European Police College or 'CEPOL' with Europol and to implement a European Law Enforcement Training Scheme (LETS) for law enforcement officials.

Finally, by reforming Europol the Commission is committed to apply the governance standards agreed together with the European Parliament and Council in July 2012 in the Common Approach on EU decentralised agencies[3].

In preparing this impact assessment, the Commission has consulted all major stakeholder groups.

1. PROBLEM DEFINITION

Large scale criminal and terrorist networks pose a significant threat to the internal security of the EU. National law enforcement services can no longer work in isolation and need to cooperate.

The creation of a common space without internal borders, and the further integration of the European Union have greatly benefited the free movement of EU citizens; they had to be accompanied by a reinforcement of security measures to tackle cross-border crime. The establishment of Europol – the EU agency designed to help law enforcement authorities of the EU better cooperate with one another – is instrumental in this regard.

Europol provides assistance to national police forces, notably by facilitating the sharing of criminal information. It produces operational analyses which help law enforcement services in transnational investigations. It offers operational assistance (expertise) in support of cross-border investigations or coordinates them; it gives financial support for euro-counterfeiting investigations. It also provides strategic analysis in the form of threat assessments. Europol has neither autonomous investigative capabilities nor coercive powers.

1.1. Description of the problem

The Commission has identified several shortcomings that prevent Europol from becoming a hub of information exchange between law enforcement officers in the Member States.

PROBLEM 1

1.1.1. Member States do not provide Europol with all the necessary information to fight serious cross-border crime

The EU has placed initiatives - both legislative and financial - to promote information exchange at the heart of its policies in the area of Home Affairs. Europol depends predominantly on the Member States for collecting data and intelligence. The Council Decision requires Member States to supply Europol with data that falls within its mandate.

However, Member States do not provide Europol all necessary information to fight crime or do not do it in a timely manner. There are also important discrepancies between the Member States in the provision of information. Various statistics confirm this.

Underlying drivers are:

•           Lack of precision of existing legal provisions: The obligation of Member States to provide data is not formulated in an explicit way, thus leaving room for contradictory interpretations and for doubts on the type, level of detail and extent of information Member States should send to Europol. Some Members States do not even recognize the existence of an obligation.

•           Sociological and cultural drivers: Low awareness, lack of knowledge, a policing culture which encourages law enforcement officers to be cautious about information sharing.

•           Organisational drivers: some organisational factors impact upon the performance and effectiveness of the Europol National Units (ENUs), set-up in each Member State to be the contact point for Europol.

Reluctance to transmit information prevents Europol from identifying links with crime phenomena in other countries and from creating an accurate criminal intelligence picture throughout the EU, which could allow it to coordinate investigative action by Member States. As a result, as Member States do not see sufficient added value in Europol's findings, they are less motivated to supply information to the agency.

PROBLEM 2

1.1.2. Constraints on data processing

Europol manages several databases to assist Member States in preventing and combatting serious cross-border crime and terrorism. The Europol Council Decision pre-defines strictly these databases and attaches to them different purposes, different rules on who could access them and specific provisions on data protection and security.

The Europol Information System (the EIS) is a reference database used for cross-matching purposes. Analysis Work Files are databases for analytical operational purposes and for assisting live investigations. They combine hard data used for identification with intelligence. One AWF concerns serious and organised crime (the AWF SOC), the other terrorism (the AWF CT).

The Member State which provides the data is its owner. It decides the purpose for which it is transmitted to Europol (for simple reference purposes in the EIS, or for specific analysis purposes in one of the several AWFs); in addition, it can decide who can access them and what use can be made of them (“owner principle”).

Only mere cross-matching is possible across the databases (detecting if the same data entity is in another database). Linking of information across different databases is not permitted for a Europol analyst, unless he receives authorisation from all those who provided these data to database to which he has no access. In practice it takes from a few weeks to a few months.

Only linking of data entities (detecting relations between the data) allows an analyst to assess relevance of information for the analysis and gives a meaning to information about criminal or terrorist organisations, e.g. a hypothesis on the role of the individual perpetrator in the hierarchy of a criminal group involved in both serious crime and terrorism (e.g. smuggling drugs or weapons to sponsor terrorist activities). Without linking there is no criminal analysis.

All this prevents an efficient analysis and delays identification of trends and patterns in criminal activities. Europol cannot produce intelligence reports on criminals, terrorists and their links, which can be necessary for Member States' investigations.

In addition, data sent by a Member State can be intended both for sharing in the EIS and for analysis in the AWFs. The technical separation implies that the data must be stored at least twice (or three times) with duplicated obligations for the data owner as well as for Europol to maintain (update, delete) the data, and risks of introducing differences between originally equal data sets.

1.2. THE BASELINE SCENARIO

Establishing Europol's scrutiny by the European Parliament and national parliaments would enhance its accountability but would not have impact on Europol's becoming information hub for law enforcement authorities. The level of information supply should continue to grow, but discrepancies among Member States would persist. On data management, storing data in databases technically separated will continue to limit Europol’s capacity to deliver comprehensive analytical reports to Member States, especially on the links between organised crime groups and terrorist networks. Europol’s analysts would not be able to link information on organised crime and terrorist networks (stored in different AWFs and the EIS). Delays in identifying trends and patters in this context will persist. A possibility of multiple storage of data in two or three places would continue.

2. POLICY OBJECTIVES

General objective of Europol's reform: to increase security of the EU by making Europol a hub for information exchange between law enforcement authorities in the Member States so as to better support them in preventing and combatting serious cross-border crime and terrorism.

Specific and operational objectives

1. To increase provision of information to Europol by Member States

(a) To increase volume and quality of information provided to Europol by Member States

(b) To reduce discrepancies in level of information provision by Member States

2. To establish a data processing environment that will allow Europol's analysts to fully assist Member States in preventing and combating serious cross-border crime and terrorism

(c) To ensure that Europol’s analysts could link and make analyses of all relevant pieces of data;

(d) To reduce delays in identifying trends and patterns;

(e) To reduce multiple storage of data.

3. POLICY OPTIONS 3.1. Option 1: Baseline scenario/"Pure lisbonisation"

To garner more contributions from Member States Europol, in cooperation with CEPOL and the Commission, will continue "soft measures" - awareness raising in the form of road shows, training promotion of good practices of ENUs.

Analysis building will rely on separated databases with limited possibilities of linking and analysing data scattered around different databases.

3.2. Option 2: Making further legislative amendments through the Europol regulation

A. Provision of information from Member States

A.1 Strengthening obligations and introducing incentives

The regulation will provide for:

· continued awareness raising;

· the clarification of the legal provision on obligation to provide data: Member States would be obliged to share all data falling under Europol's mandate and in particular those actually exchanged with another Member State. To achieve prioritisation, the obligation would be focused on information on crime identified as EU priorities in the EU Policy Cycle on organised and serious international crime;

· monitoring how Member States respect the obligation: Europol will submit an annual report to Parliament and Council on information provision by individual Member States and performance of ENUs;

· financial incentives to Member States – the Regulation would extend financial assistance to support Member States' investigations in crime areas other than Euro counterfeiting.

A.2. Giving Europol access to law enforcement databases of Member States

Through access to national law enforcement databases on a "hit-no-hit" basis, Europol would detect that a Member State is in possession of relevant information. Then, following a "hit", Europol could request this information. Member States would keep control over data as their authorisation for the transfer is necessary.

This system would require a new IT architecture: 1) a forwarding system which would send queries to Member State and assemble the replies on hits, 2) investments of Member States to reorganise their databases to separate data falling within Europol's mandate or setting up a forwarding database, as well as to provide appropriate IT connections.

B. Data management

B.1. Merging the existing two AWFs into one

Under this option, the two existing AWFs are merged into one and the EIS remains separated.

B.2. New processing environment

Europol regulation will no longer be "database-oriented". It would lay down procedural safeguards to implement data protection principles with particular emphasis on ‘privacy by design’ and full transparency towards the Data Protection Officer of Europol and supervisory authorities. Bound by "Privacy by design", Europol would take all the data protection requirements into account from the outset when designing specifications and architecture of communication systems and technologies.

There are several technical solutions to achieve this aim. Whatever is pursued:

· Data protection safeguards will be attached to the piece and type of data rather than to a predefined data base;

· To ensure purpose limitation the data supplier would determine from the outset the purpose of processing operation for which data are shared with Europol (cross-checking, operational analysis, general analysis);

· All information would be fully visible to Europol's analysts as long as it is necessary for his tasks. Nevertheless, Europol's partners will still be entitled to impose restrictions to access and use by others.

4. ANALYSIS OF IMPACT 4.1. Option 1: Baseline Scenario/”pure lisbonisation”

Increasing security in the EU (0): Europol will continue to have a fragmented picture of the EU-criminality. Member States would not be sufficiently assisted.

Protection of personal data (0): no impact on protection of personal data, no positive indirect impact on the right to life.

Costs (0): no new costs compared to the status quo

Option 2: Making further legislative amendments to the Europol regulation

4.1.1. Impacts of the options under policy option A 4.1.1.1. Strengthening obligations and introducing additional incentives (A1)

Increasing security in the EU (+++): positive impact on shortcomings and increase of both volume and quality of information sent by Member States.

Focusing on the goals of the EU Policy Cycle and sharing information that they exchange bilaterally would result in a higher in-flow of data to Europol on the most important threats.

Monitoring the performance of ENUs and the provision of information by each Member State would create peer pressure. This would encourage good practices, including on efficient organisation of ENUs, awareness raising and strengthening cooperation between ENUs and national law enforcement.

If cross-border investigations received financial support, this would encourage Member States to involve Europol more.

Several successes in counterfeiting demonstrate it.

Protection of personal data (0): no impact compared to the baseline.

Costs (--):

For the EU budget:

· the costs of 6 staff to handle a higher amount of data provided

· Financial support for Member States’ investigations beyond Euro-counterfeiting amounting to 800.000 € yearly (offset by cutting some activities of the Management Board of Europol).

For national budgets:

· no material costs.

· Costs to Member States for one-time training of law enforcement officers dealing with serious cross-border crime: EUR 600 000 or EUR 3m or EUR 6m

· On a case-by-case basis, possible reorganisation of ENUs.

Benefits: Increase in effectiveness of the fight against serious cross-border crime-millions of EUR in 2015-2020

4.1.1.2. Giving Europol access to law enforcement databases of Member States (A2)

Increasing security in the EU (+++): would overcome the lack of knowledge, ineffective ENUs or low awareness of Member States. Member States will retain control over data as they would authorise the transfer.

A greater amount of more relevant information will reach Europol, which would be able to offer better quality products to Member States.

Protection of personal data (0) None. Access would be on a hit-no-hit basis. To receive the content of the information Europol would need to request the Member State. Before transmission the Member State would ensure all data protection safeguards.

Costs (---):

For the EU budget:

(1) EUR 1,78 m one off investment and

(2) EUR 1,46 m of yearly recurring investments.

Costs for the MS budgets:

· EUR 660,000 one-time investments for the adaptation of their IT systems and connection to the forwarding system;

· Recurring investments of EUR 1,2 m annually;

· On a case-by-case basis possible costs of additional 1-2 staff.

4.1.2. Impacts of policy option B 4.1.2.1. Merging of two AWFs into one (B1)

Increasing security in the EU (++): It would potentially entail a faster identification of trends, patterns and links between criminal groups involved also in terrorism.

Thanks to broadening of scope of an AWF to cover both serious organised crime and terrorism, Europol’s analysts would be able to visualise all links between information provided to the merged AWF. Linking the data from EIS system with those in the AWF will still not be possible. Multiple storage of data will persist.

Protection of personal data (0): There will be no impact on protection of personal data compared to the baseline as this option is a mere extension of the current system.

Costs (0): It would entail minimal costs as the two AWFs to be merged are supported by the same technological solutions. They could be borne by Europol’s IT budget. The necessary investments and consultancy work were done by preparing the recent merger of 23 AWFs into two, therefore its results could be reused.

4.1.2.2 New processing environment (B2)

Increasing security in the EU (+++): Europol analysts would be able to link and analyse all data that are necessary for them. This would allow Europol to build a bridge between all aspects of the fight against organized crime and terrorism. Within a single processing environment Europol would be able to better identify, analyse and define the structures linking organized crime groups and terrorist networks, for instance through the financial trails.

Impacts on the protection of personal data (0): At least the same level of data protection as in the baseline would apply.

Impact on Costs (0): This option would not entail any immediate additional expenditure compared to the baseline.

5. PREFERRED POLICY OPTION

The preferred policy options would be Option 2 (further legislative changes) consisting of Option A1 and B2.

· Thanks to incentives and the strengthening of the obligation to provide information, Member States would have more clarity and would become more motivated to send data.

· The new rules on data management would allow Europol's analysts to have access to all information they needs to know, to determine links between information and to identify trends and patterns. Europol would offer more relevant and up-to-date products to assist Member States. There will be no multiple storage of data.

As to the costs:

· Financial support offered by Europol to Member States’ investigations would require 800.000 € per annum, to reach a critical mass of funding. These funds will be found by reprioritising Europol’s budget.

· The total staff that Europol needs to implement this reform is 6 FTE that is needed to handle a higher inflow of information from Member States. Three staff will be redeployed; three others would need to be employed. The total staff costs would then reach EUR 1.77 m over the period from 2015 to 2020. However, approximately two thirds of these costs will be offset by the savings resulting from the merger with CEPOL.

· There will be no immediate costs in view of new data management rules.

[1]               The Stockholm Programme: An Open and Secure Europe Serving and Protecting Citizens, OJ C 115, 4.5.2010, p. 1–38

[2]               The European Council also invited the Commission to "examine how it could be ensured that Europol receives information from Member States law enforcement authorities so that the Member States can make full use of Europol capacities".

[3]               http://europa.eu/agencies/documents/joint_statement_and_common_approach_2012_en.pdf

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