EU Member States Froze Closer Ties between Europol and Israel
1 December 2022
2018-Max_Planck_Herr_Wahl_1355_black white_Zuschnitt.jpg Thomas Wahl

According to media reports, representatives of EU Member States in the Council JHA working party blocked the approval of an agreement between Europol and Israel, which would allow the exchange of personal data for the purpose of combating serious crime and terrorism. Negotiations on the draft agreement between the Commission and Israel were finalised at the end of September 2022.

It would have been a further step in strengthening operational police cooperation after Europol concluded a working agreement with Israel in 2018 allowing for the exchange of strategic information only (i.e. excluding the exchange of personal data between the law enforcement bodies → eucrim 2/2018, 87).

According to German newspaper reports, 13 out of 27 EU Member States refused to advance with the new agreement in a meeting of the Council working party in November 2022. They particularly disapproved that the agreement would have allowed the use of personal data in the territories occupied by Israel after 1967. Several delegations seemingly warned that this would set “a dangerous precedent with considerable political repercussions” fearing that Israel could use “European data” to increase control over the occupied territories.

Concerns that the agreement would be implemented by the new incoming Israeli government with a new public security minister ranking of the extreme right was another reason for blocking the new agreement between Europol and Israel in the Council. Several MEPs voiced similar concerns.

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2018-Max_Planck_Herr_Wahl_1355_black white_Zuschnitt.jpg
Thomas Wahl

Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law (MPI CSL)

Public Law Department

Senior Researcher