Europol and Frontex –The European Border and Coastguard Agency -, are intensifying their cooperation to strengthen the European space of freedom, security and justice. At a joint meeting at The Hague, the management organs of both agencies agreed to broaden the exchange of information between them to reinforce their joint fight against cross border crime and terrorism.
The improvement in cooperation has been established with a declaration of principles for such collaboration, signed by the executive directors of both agencies. The databases and crime investigations of Europol will be reinforced with the information gathered by Frontex during operational activities. Europol information will facilitate an even more efficient management of the external borders of the EU and an action based on intelligence directed at cross border criminal groups and terrorists.
In this way, Europol and Frontex will work together to provide more secure EU external borders and to implement common policies in the fight against organised crime and terrorism.
Until now, Europol and Frontex already had synergies in cases like migrant trafficking, arms trafficking, drug trafficking and terrorism. Now this joint project will broaden this area.
The collaboration will centre on identifying capacities and the complementary knowledge of Europol and Frontex, and on improving in situ cooperation. The two agencies will create a joint support operative and, if possible, they will establish common procedures.
Frontex would share information gathered at the external borders at the Europol criminal information centre. This structural exchange of information between the two agencies will improve the work of cross-border guards and provide support for investigations.
The efforts of both agencies in the fields of investigation and the development of new technology will also be strictly coordinated, for example, for the introduction of a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). Frontex and Europol also expect to have annual executive management meetings and of heads of exchange links.
Moreover, the two agencies will coordinate external activities, including contacts with external members and will share information about the main strategic developments. Frontex and Europol will work together to develop training activities and will plan to introduce personnel exchange programmes.