EU Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol)
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Europol building, The Hague, the Netherlands - 931.jpg
Europol HQ in The Hague
Agency overview
Formed October 1, 1998; 19 years ago (1998-10-01)
  • European Police Office, Europol Drugs Unit
Jurisdiction European Union
Headquarters Eisenhowerlaan 73
The Hague, Netherlands
Employees 1065 (December 2016) [1]
Annual budget € 116.4 million (FY 2017) [2]
Agency executive
Key document
Twitter: @Europol
Facebook: @europol
Europol is located in European Union
The Hague
The Hague
Europol (European Union)

The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol), formerly known as the European Police Office (Europol) and the Europol Drugs Unit (EDU), 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 Agency has no executive powers, and its officials are not entitled to arrest suspects or act without prior approval from competent authorities in the Member States. Seated in The Hague, South Holland, it comprised 1065 staff in 2016.

Budget and strategic priorities

In the financial year 2017, the Agency's budget was approximately 116.4 million euros. [3]

Europol reported it would focus on countering cybercrime, organized crime, and terrorism as well as on building its information technology capacities during the 2016–2020 strategy cycle, . [2] Europol likewise stated that the previous strategy cycle of 2010–2014 laid the foundation for the Agency as the European criminal information hub. [4] The EU Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA) of 2017 identified eight priority crime areas: cybercrime; drug production, trafficking and distribution; migrant smuggling; organised property crime; trafficking in human beings; criminal finances and money laundering; document fraud; and online trade in illicit goods and services. [5]

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