LYON, France – INTERPOL and Europol have extended their close collaboration against transnational organized crime after the leaders of the two international police agencies agreed on Tuesday to establish a secure communication line between both organizations and endorsed a collaborative operational action plan in key security areas.
Under a Memorandum of Understanding signed by INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble and Europol Director Rob Wainwright, the communication line will link up the secure networks of both agencies to facilitate and simplify the exchange of operational and strategic crime information, including via their respective liaison officers based at INTERPOL in Lyon and at Europol in The Hague.
During their two-day meeting at the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters (11-12 October), Secretary General Noble and Director Wainwright also agreed that INTERPOL and Europol should enhance their collaborative operational efforts within their respective mandates to underpin a global response against transnational organized crime and terrorism by endorsing operational action plans of cooperation in five areas: maritime piracy, counter-terrorism, securing major international public events, cyber-crime and child sexual exploitation.
Europol Director Rob Wainwright said: "Identifying and developing areas for future joint actions between Europol and INTERPOL is very important to us and key to providing an even more integrated service to the international police community on both sides. We are committed to developing the best possible cooperation – intensive efforts on both our sides will bring about more security to Europe and beyond, and will make a distinctive contribution to our fight against serious international crime worldwide."
The head of Europol was also updated during his visit on INTERPOL’s Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) which will tackle 21st century crime threats such as cyber-crime. The IGCI will open in Singapore by early 2014.
INTERPOL Secretary General said that the agreement marked ‘another important step’ in strengthening the close collaboration between INTERPOL and Europol and the international fight against organized crime and terrorism.
“These new initiatives represent a natural and strong evolution in our collaboration with Europol under the leadership of Director Wainwright, and a leap forward in our common efforts against 21st century crime,” said the head of INTERPOL.
“At a time when crime threats are becoming more complex and criminals are exploiting technology as well as physical and virtual mobility, our agreement is both a natural and necessary development in our strategic collaboration. It benefits both of our organizations by maximizing our resources and advancing our efforts against the threats faced by all our member countries,” added Secretary General Noble.
Tuesday’s agreement follows a series of strategic meetings between both leaders, including a joint INTERPOL-Europol global initiative to combat the threats of maritime piracy in the Gulf of Aden.
In this respect, at an operational level the area of maritime piracy has highlighted the excellent collaboration between INTERPOL and Europol in information exchange and analysis. The UN Security Council unanimously endorsed in November 2010 a Resolution calling on all UN 192 member countries to work with INTERPOL and Europol to fight criminal networks involved in maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia.
The European Union Council also adopted in December 2010 a Decision which will see the EU’s military mission against maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia use INTERPOL’s global network and tools to fight the criminal networks behind piracy in the Gulf of Aden.
A future step in Tuesday’s agreement between INTERPOL and Europol will see the extension of law enforcement tools and services between both organizations, and the identification of proposals for future joint actions.