Europol is the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation. Eurojust and Europol have been working together closely in the fight against serious cross-border crime since the early 2000s, by providing complementary support to national authorities during transnational criminal investigations and by addressing the root causes and challenges of serious cross-border crime. The working relationship is based on reciprocity and complementarity while taking into account the need to avoid duplication of effort.
A cooperation agreement, which entered into force in January 2010, solidified efforts to foster closer cooperation between the agencies, in particular by increasing information exchange and improving their strategic and operational cooperation, as well as Europol’s further participation in Eurojust’s strategic and coordination meetings. The agreement also provided for additional cooperative activities, including the possibility of temporarily posting representatives of one or both agencies in the other’s premises, as well as the obligation to inform each other about participation in joint investigation teams (JITs). Currently, Eurojust and Europol have concluded two agreements for the temporary placement of Eurojust representatives to different Union Centres of Expertise hosted at Europol, namely the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and the European Counter Terrorism Centre (ECTC).
To further strengthen the supportive role played by Eurojust and Europol in financially supporting JITs, in June 2018 the Agencies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the joint establishment of rules and conditions for financial support to JIT activities. Among other points, the MoU underlines the need for the agencies to efficiently exchange information, including on applications for JIT funding, in order to prevent duplication of efforts, including double funding for JITs. More generally, the MoU emphasised the agencies’ commitment to close cooperation and continued cooperation in matters of joint concern, which is also a requirement of the Eurojust and Europol Regulations.
Beyond their casework, Eurojust and Europol cooperate closely on raising awareness of and developing judicial responses to new developments in cross-border crime, including in the fields of terrorism and cybercrime. As part of these joint efforts, the agencies regularly co-author and disseminate joint publications, including the First report of the observatory function on encryption, which was published in January 2019, and Common challenges in combating cybercrime, two editions of which were published in March 2017 and June 2019, respectively.