In the exclusive interview series, this time we have the occasion of getting a glimpse inside of the European Union’s Law-Enforcement Agency, and the honour of an Interview with Mr Wil van Gemert, Deputy Director of EUROPOL the Operations Department.
Deputy Director of EUROPOL, Operations Department Mr Wil van Gemert 2016 © EUROPOL
Q: In the recent years, EUROPOL and the U.S Law-Enforcement Agencies have been expanding their strategic cooperation by signing numbers of new agreements on various issues from Cyber Crime to Counter-Terrorism, that could enable both sides to work more effectively to tackle the un-foreseen challenges of 21 century.
- How this close partnerships at the Law-Enforcement level can benefit the both sides, in general?
The US is by far the most important partner of Europol, and especially in the fight against cybercrime. Both in the field of online child sexual exploitation and cyber-attacks, the FBI, the US Secret Services and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement are making invaluable contributions to EU efforts to arrest criminals. Because both the EU and the US face common threats from terrorism and organised crime, transnational law enforcement cooperation is particularly important to enhance the security of citizens, and even more necessary when it comes to fight against borderless crimes, namely cybercrimes. Indeed, cooperating for more than 11 years, Europol and the US recently agreed on joining efforts to counter foreign fighters and to combat illegal immigration, especially as exploited by organised crime groups. Europol cooperation initiatives with non-EU countries and international organisations are crucial to exchange strategic and technical information, such as trends and developments in the methods used to commit offences or new methods of criminal intelligence analysis. Every year, Europol supports approximately 500 cases involving US authorities and joint operations lead to the arrest of top targets on both sides of the Atlantic. Europol’s cooperation with US authorities has reached an unprecedented level. Europol is now perceived as an efficient and reliable point of contact in many key crime areas in Europe and US authorities see Europol as an instrument to maximise their engagement with investigators in the Member States.