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Parliament should reject ‘black box’ of new powers for Europol

GUE/NGL Coordinator on the European Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, Cornelia Ernst, stated: “The decisive issue is: What do we really want from a police force and how should police forces throughout Europe be coordinated by Europol in practice?”

While Ernst saw improvements in the report which would assist Europol to investigate cross-border crime, she explained that at the same time a proposed internet referral unit of Europol “would be created without any legal basis, to analyse the desirability or undesirability of internet data. What is good and bad about data exchange on the internet? That is a difficult decision to make.”  

“We are also disappointed about the chapter on parliamentary scrutiny. We [the European Parliament] would have no decision-making powers, there would be no real scrutiny at all.”

Ernst summed up the report: “It's a black box giving all power to Europol, and that's why we reject the whole package.”

Irish MEP, Martina Anderson, further explained the new lack of accountability proposed for Europol: “The removal of the joint supervisory body – the only genuine oversight group with on-premise access to Europol activity – means new powers would not be adequately monitored.”

“While we understand the need for enhanced cooperation between countries, especially when it comes to tackling terrorism, drug dealing and human trafficking, all authorities must be subject to adequate scrutiny.”

Danish MEP, Rina Ronja Kari, added: “With the reform of Europol we would move from police cooperation on equal footing to a more centralised version. This could be effective in terms of working ito combat crime, but we will be collecting more information about citizens. This parliament has forgotten to protect the private data of citizens. For example, their private information on Facebook.”

“It is important to have strengthened police cooperation, but this is going too far,” Kari concluded.

 

GUE/NGL Press Contact:

Nikki Sullings  +32 22 83 27 60 / +32 483 03 55 75

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20

European United Left / Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL)

European Parliamentary Group