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Friday, 17. April 2015. 13:03

Visit of Committee on European Integration to the Kingdom of Netherlands ends

The Committee members closely introduced to competences and functioning of the Europol

On day two of the official visit of the Committee on European Integration to the Kingdom of Netherlands, MPs visited the Europol - European Union’s Law Enforcement Agency. Competences, functioning and capacities of the Europol were presented by Mr Michal Narojek from the External and EU Institutional Affairs Sector, Mr Pavel Činčar, Head of the Unit at the Operations Department of the Europol, Mr Howard Pugh, Senior Specialist in the Team for Fight against Smuggling in Tobacco as well as Mr Neil Tolman, Manager for the field of fighting against drugs.

Mr Michal Narojek shortly presented competences of the Europol, which has been officially the EU institution since 2010. As he said, the Europol worked on supporting and strengthening actions and cooperation of the competent bodies of the member states in preventing and combating organised and serious crime influencing on two or more member states, while, on the other hand, this agency was not responsible for law implementation and arresting. 

Mr Pavel Činčar presented information capacities of the Europol, where the functioning of the Secure Information Exchange Network Application (SIENA) was of key importance. He stressed the importance of work performed by liaison officers, headquartered in Europol, as well as national units and national contact points for the Europol, placed in the responsible ministries of the member states and third countries.

Mr Howard Pugh spoke on challenges regarding the fight against trafficking in tobacco and other excise products. He said that this type of offence influenced on the quality of daily life of the European citizens, illustrating that by the fact that in 2013 the EU lost 10.9 billion in the revenue. Furthermore, the particular problem in this sense is using funds acquired in this manner for financing terrorist organisations,

Mr Neil Tolman spoke on the efforts of the Europol for combating production and trafficking of drugs, keeping in mind that the EU is one of the largest markets for consumption of these substances. As he said, when it comes to activities in this field, the good customs control was of key importance but also the stronger oversight within the EU states.

The Committee members posed questions relating to cooperation of the Europol with third countries and international organisations, work of the liaison officers as well as activities regarding the daily work in combating serious crimes. Bearing in mind that Europol’s work fields are strongly connected with different segments of negotiation chapter 24 - Justice, freedom and security, MPs assessed this meeting as very important for the further work.

The participants in the visit to the Netherlands were Chairperson of the Committee Mr Slaven Radunović, and members Mr Obrad Mišo Stanišić, Ms Nada Drobnjak, Mr Predrag Bulatović, Mr Koča Pavlović and Mr Danko Šarančić.