INTERPOL a key partner for a secure Europe, says EU Commissioner Malmström
EU-INTERPOL ties already securing borders and preventing crime
LYON, France – A secure Europe needs global law enforcement support, with INTERPOL a key partner in meeting security challenges, European Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström told police chiefs at the closing of the INTERPOL Heads of National Central Bureaus conference.
Addressing the 270 senior police officials from 148 countries, Commissioner Malmström said that to effectively fight organized crime and cybercrime, which pose the greatest risks to EU security, the need for partnerships with countries beyond Europe is essential.
“INTERPOL, with its National Central Bureaus in 190 member countries is a key partner for the European Union in addressing these global threats,” said Commissioner Malmström.
“Day-to-day cooperation between INTERPOL and police forces in the EU member states goes back many years and is invaluable in linking EU criminal intelligence with INTERPOL’s databases and global network.”
Highlighting the need for close cooperation in tackling these shared threats, the Commissioner explained her plans to establish a European Cybercrime Centre to work closely with the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore, which will include a state-of-the-art facility for boosting cyber security and countering cybercrime, to assist in the streamlining of regional and global investigations.
An important element in the enhanced cooperation between the two organizations was the opening of the INTERPOL liaison office in Brussels in 2009. Pierre Reuland, the Special Representative of INTERPOL to the European Union, said that ‘when it comes to global police cooperation INTERPOL is the natural partner to link EU member countries and agencies to the rest of the world’.
In meetings with Secretary General Ronald K. Noble and other senior INTERPOL officials, Commissioner Malmström discussed a range of activities where the EU and INTERPOL work closely together, particularly under the EU’s Internal Security Strategy.
“INTERPOL is working closer than ever with European bodies such as Europol, Frontex, Cepol and Eurojust in crime areas as diverse as maritime piracy, human trafficking and counterfeiting,” said Secretary General Noble.
“The European Union has recognized INTERPOL’s unique capacity to supplement law enforcement efforts at the European level, particularly in the effective management of borders where transnational criminals are at their most vulnerable,” added the INTERPOL Chief.
An EU-funded programme has seen expansion of access to INTERPOL’s unique global database of Stolen and Lost Travel Documents throughout the Commonwealth of Independent States, Southeast Asia, Africa and the Americas, helping to secure borders and identify criminals attempting to enter Europe, and elsewhere, using false identities.
Plans for the West African Police Information System (WAPIS) being developed with INTERPOL and funded by the EU were also discussed during the high-level meeting. The WAPIS project will facilitate the collection, centralization, management, sharing and analysis of police information on a national, regional and global level to more effectively tackle crime areas such as drug trafficking, illegal immigration, money laundering and weapons trafficking.
INTERPOL: Interview with Cecilia Malmstrom, EU Home Affairs Commissioner