Statewatch Report on New Europol Mandate
On 10 November 2022, Statewatch published a report examining the new powers granted to Europol under its amended Regulation that entered into force on 28 June 2022 (→eucrim 2/2022, 98-100). The report is targeted at civil society, elected officials, and anyone seeking to better understand the role of Europol under its amended legal framework.
Under the title "Empowering the police, removing protections: the new Europol Regulation", the report sets out the agency’s new powers regarding the following:
- Scope of action;
- Purposes and scale of data processing and data categories;
- Sources of data;
- Supervision and scrutiny.
Furthermore, Statewatch's report provides a table illustrating the evolution of Europol’s tasks from 2016 until today. Lastly, the report offers an overview of personal data processing by Europol (either for cross-checking or for strategic/thematic analysis, operational analysis, or to facilitate the exchange of information). This overview shows which categories of data can be processed by Europol for which category of person, i.e. suspects and convicts, and "likely criminals" as well as contacts and associates, victims, witnesses, and informants.
While the report acknowledges the establishment of new supervisory functions such as the new Fundamental Rights Officer at Europol, the authors underline their concerns over their finding that the agency has garnered greater power while being subject to less independent supervision and scrutiny.
The report has been published alongside an interactive 'map' of EU agencies and 'interoperable' policing and migration databases, designed to aid understanding and further research on the data architecture in the EU's area of freedom, security and justice.