The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol), is the law enforcement agency of the European Union (EU) formed in 1998 to handle criminal intelligence and combat serious international organised crime and terrorism through cooperation between competent authorities of EU Member States.
The Convention on the establishment of a European Police Office (Europol Convention) was signed by 15 EU Member States on 26 July 1995 and ratified in 1998. The European Police Officeofficially became operational on 1 July 1999.
On 1 January 2010 Europol became a full EU agency. On 1 May 2017, Europol became officially the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, after its new Regulation entered into force. The new regulation has strengthened Europol's role in supporting law enforcement cooperation in the EU by entrusting the agency with more powers.
Europol is the leading institution for European police cooperation in preventing and combating serious and organised international crime and terrorism.The Agency, based in The Hague (The Netherlands), supports the 27 Member States in the fight against serious international crime and terrorism. It also cooperates with a number of non-EU partner countries and international organisations.
Poland in EUROPOL
Poland's cooperation with Europol dates back to July 2002 under an operational agreement, and on 1 November 2004. Poland became a full member of Europol. Europol cooperates with Poland through the Europol National Unit (ENU), which was established at the National Police Headquarters, while the tasks of the Unit are performed by the International Police Cooperation Bureau of the NPHQs. In addition, the ENU is the only liaison body between Europol and the competent authorities of the Member States.
Over 240 liaison officers work at Europol Headquarters. They are seconded to Europol by both EU Member States and non-EU countries. Currently, 8 the Polish Liaison Office at Europol is made up of eight employees, including 5 representatives of the Police and 1 representative each from the Border Guard, the Internal Security Agency and the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau. The secondment of a representative of the National Revenue Administration of the Ministry of Finance is still expected. The Polish Liaison Office is headed by a police officer. Moreover, there are 2 designated liaison officers of the Central Bureau of Investigation of the Police whose task is to optimise cooperation in combating international criminal groups. Furthermore, Poland also delegated a police officer to act as the Cybercrime Liaison Officer. This officer performs his tasks within the Europol's Joint Cybercrime Action Task Force (J-CAT).
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