EU Law Enforcement Emergency Response Protocol

In order to provide law enforcement authorities in the EU with a tool for immediate response to major cross-border cyber-attacks, the Council of the EU adopted an EU Law Enforcement Emergency Response Protocol. The Protocol, on which Europol reported in March 2019, is part of the EU Blueprint for Coordinated Response to Large-Scale Cross-Border Cybersecurity Incidents and Crises of September 2017. It sets out a multi-stakeholder process with seven possible core stages beginning with the early detection and identification of a major cyber-attack. The next steps include threat classification, an emergency response coordination centre, early warning notification, a law enforcement operational action plan, investigation and multi-layered analysis, and ultimately, emergency response protocol closure.

The protocol determines the procedures, roles and responsibilities of key players both within the EU and beyond. It sets out secure communication channels and 24/7 contact points for the exchange of critical information; as well as the overall coordination and de-confliction mechanism.

The scope of the protocol only covers “cyber security events of a malicious and suspected criminal nature” and does not include incidents or crises caused by a natural disaster, man-made error or system failure.

News Guide

EU Europol Cybercrime Law Enforcement Cooperation


Cornelia Riehle LL.M.

Academy of European Law (ERA)

Criminal Law

Deputy Head of Section