INTERPOL’s global tools strengthening European security
LYON, France – Enhancing European security through INTERPOL’s global tools and services was the focus of a meeting between the European Union’s Standing Committee on Operational Cooperation on Internal Security (COSI), Europe’s Article 36 Committee (CATS) and senior officials from the world police body at its General Secretariat headquarters.
Discussions between the European Union (EU) representatives and INTERPOL focused on increasing areas of cooperation in response to the threat of transnational crime, with the global reach of INTERPOL offering security against dangers originating outside the region.
The participants reviewed key areas of cooperation between INTERPOL and European law enforcement, including stolen and lost travel documents; illicit firearms; and online child sexual abuse – all three issues featured in the EU 2014 – 2017 crime priorities, in addition to environmental crimes. The issue of interoperability between police information systems was also discussed during the meeting, further to its inclusion in INTERPOL’s European region strategy approved at the recent European Regional Conference.
“We stand ready, willing and able to put our tools and services to Europe’s assistance – be it from our Command and Coordination Centre in Lyon and Buenos Aires, or on-the-ground assistance by deploying skilled specialists from our member countries,” said Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.
The INTERPOL Chief commended the ever-strengthening cooperation between INTERPOL and the EU in the face of evolving policing challenges, particularly since the opening in September 2009 of the Office of the Special Representative of INTERPOL to the EU in Brussels.
Participants were also briefed on the organizations’ combined efforts to combat online child sexual abuse, with INTERPOL offering strong support to the EU’s Global Alliance against Child Exploitation and the EU financing enhancements to INTERPOL’s International Child Sexual Exploitation image database.
Representatives from Ireland and Lithuania presented their programmes within the framework of the current and upcoming Presidencies of the EU.
With environmental crime fast becoming a global threat to security, recognition was given to the long-term support – including financial assistance – from the EU for INTERPOL initiatives linked to the International Consortium to Combat Wildlife Crime and a new project to combat the trade in illegal electronic waste.
Another collaborative project financed by the EU is the INTERPOL Illicit Firearms Records and tracing Management System (iARMS) of the INTERPOL Firearms Programme. The organizations are continuing to explore other ways to further integrate their activities in the area of firearms, in particular by encouraging more EU member countries to contribute data to iARMS.
“While we continue to face newer and different challenges, the cooperation between INTERPOL and the EU continues to get stronger and stronger,” Secretary General Noble said.
Attending the meeting were representatives from both the current and incoming Presidencies of the EU – Ireland and Lithuania – the European External Action Service, Eurojust, Europol, the European Commission and Council of the European Union.