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Europol Management Board Meeting Held at Brdo

On 20 and 21 May 2008, Brdo is hosting a meeting of the Management Board of Europol, i.e. the European Police Office, which helps the EU Member States in their fight against terrorism, organised and cross-border crime by providing them with information and analyses.

This, 62nd meeting of Europol Management Board, the highest body of the European Police Office, which is chaired by Robert Črepinko, Assistant Director of the Criminal Police Directorate at the General Police Directorate, is attended by members of twenty-seven delegations of Member States, representatives of Europol led by its director Max-Peter Ratzel and representatives of the European Commission.

According to Robert Črepinko, the Management Board discussed some important agenda items during the first day of the meeting. He singled out the discussion of two implementing acts of the draft Council Decision establishing Europol: "At the meeting of the Management Board, which has a predominantly strategic and supervisory role, we continued the work necessary for the entry into force of the Council Decision establishing Europol." In April this year home affairs ministers reached political consensus on the Council Decision establishing Europol, which is set to replace the current legal basis for its operation, i.e. Europol Convention. Thus Europol will become one of the EU agencies, which will make it more adaptable to the quickly changing circumstances. Besides, it will be funded from the Community budget instead of Member States' contributions. "Successful preparation of acts implementing this Decision is one of the priorities of the Slovenian Presidency in this area. To this end, an ad hoc committee within the Management Board was established, which in April and May prepared everything necessary for timely adoption of these acts," Črepinko said.

On the second day of the meeting the Board members will continue discussions on corporative, financial, operational and security-related issues as well as topics related to information and communication technology. Among other things, they will discuss draft cooperation agreements with Serbia and Montenegro. These, in Črepinko's words, "are strategic agreements that will pave the way for closer cooperation between Europol and the two countries. In particular, the agreements will enable the exchange of strategic information within Europol's mandate, which covers serious forms of international crime with elements of organised crime."

Mr Črepinko's sentiments were shared by Europol's director Max-Peter Ratzel. At the end of the first day of the meeting Mr Ratzel thanked the Slovenian Presidency for organising this and many other meetings. Mr Ratzel highlighted that: "The Slovenian Presidency has given an important impetus to Europol's work. In future, Europol will have an expanded mandate which will, for example, remove the requirement to have a link to an organised criminal structure and offer enhanced possibilities to cooperate with EU partners and third countries."

Mr Ratzel also focused on Europol's commitment in the Western Balkans: "This region has priority for Europol's external cooperation activities. Therefore, there are already cooperation agreements with all Western Balkans countries in place, and the agreements with Serbia and Montenegro will round off these endeavours."

Europol's objective is to exchange information on criminal offences and improve the effectiveness of cooperation between competent bodies of the EU Member States in the prevention of, and fight against, organised crime. Europol endeavours to make a contribution towards detecting, preventing and prosecuting criminal offences in the European Union, especially in the fight against organised crime and activities of organised criminal groups.

 The Slovenian delegation is composed of Chair Robert Črepinko, Aleksander Jevšek, director of Criminal Police Directorate, as a permanent Management Board member, Vlasta Zupanc Žučko, national delegate, and Albert Gaši, Assistant to the Chair of the Europol Management Board. Also present at the meeting were Janja Bizjak, an expert in financial matters, Dejan Žorž Zaviršek, an expert in security matters, and Robert Kos, an expert in personnel matters, all of the General Police Directorate.


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Date: 23.05.2008