Europol

3241 words 13 pages
Given the capacity of terrorism and organised crime in the European Union (EU) law enforcement agencies need an effective and co-operative international response, and in particular, counter-terrorist strategies across the EU. The Maastricht Treaty of 1992 proposed the establishment of a new focal point in tackling such matters, and this has become realised with the establishment of the European Police Office, or Europol.

The establishment of Europol was first agreed upon on February 7, 1992 in the Treaty on European Union, also called the Maastricht Treaty. Article K.3 of the Treaty concerned the Establishment of a European Police Office, specifying the new body’s governance structure and its function to facilitate cooperation among
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Prior to 9/11, some progress had been made in developing common actions in all areas but their practical implementation was often painfully slow. It is possible to argue that when the World Trade Center was hit, the European Union did not posses a single coherent counterterrorism policy and terrorism has not figured high on the common EU agenda..

While there were periods of intense domestic terrorism (IRA, ETA, Red Brigade, Rote Armee Faktion). The EU had insufficient initiatives against terrorism in the pipeline, and the emphasis was on bilateral or multilateral cooperation between Member States on single issues and cases. Prior to September 11, 2001, the position of the EU toward terrorism has been limited to a strictly political level. The representatives of all EU Member States had consistently condemned terrorism before 9/1. However, formation of a genuine EU counterterrorism policy had only been fully integrated into the Council’s agenda after the terrorist attacks on the U.S. The 9/11 events did not represent “Stunde Null” (Zero Hour) for the EU’s efforts to combat terrorism but they marked an important turning point. This was Bures refereeing to Wilhelm Knelangen notes in "Die Innen- un Justizpolitische Zusammenarbeit der EU und die Bekämpfung Des Terrorismus". The events of 9/11 have served as an important catalyst in the development of new terrorism legislation in the EU (den Boer, 2003; Peers, 2003;

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