Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

EUROPOL

Delivered in Plenary - 16th January 2008

Madam President

I wanted to add my voice to that of my colleague, Geoffrey Van Orden, and my previous colleague from the Czech Republic, from the ODS. I disagree with Mr Stubb. I am also nervous – and I do not think it would be supported by many of my constituents in the United Kingdom – about the idea of turning EUROPOL into a kind of supranational fledging European Union FBI-style organisation.

Like all colleagues, I am, of course, in favour of intergovernmental cooperation in police, intelligence and security matters, particularly when we face growing problems from international organised crime, international terrorism etc. EUROPOL already has quite an extensive remit in areas like people trafficking as well, but we do not need to extend the powers of EUROPOL. It should be an agency charged with acting as a gatekeeper in terms of exchange of information and also building up more confidence between our national police forces and our security and intelligence services.

There is a lot of mistrust between some of the Member States’ traditional law enforcement agencies. Europol should be acting as a kind of coordinator and not be given special rights. I would particularly object to any idea of EU policemen being able to go into our own Member States with powers of arrest.