- Elgar European Law series
3. Police cooperation in criminal matters The EU-wide ﬁght against crime is to be achieved in part by securing closer cooperation between national law enforcement organisations, including ‘police forces, customs authorities and other competent authorities in the Member States’.1 Much of the ideological and practical groundwork for police cooperation had been laid prior to the 1999 Amsterdam settlement, during the Maastricht and even pre-Maastricht era and to a great extent within the Schengen system. The Amsterdam Treaty built squarely upon these foundations.2 It continued the historical trend in international police cooperation by emphasising operational cooperation between competent authorities.3 It also highlighted the centrality of information exchange to cross-border cooperation and the eﬀective ﬁght against crime.4 In order to facilitate these and other forms of cooperation the Treaty of Amsterdam enhanced the role of the pre-existing European police agency, Europol. This agency, and indeed the variety of European level bodies that have emerged to facilitate particular aspects of cooperation between national policing agencies in tackling cross-border crime (CEPOL and the European Police Chiefs Task Force), were discussed in full in Chapter 2. It should be recorded at the outset that, although police and judicial cooperation are dealt with discretely for the purposes of this book, neither can be seen in complete isolation. From an institutional perspective, law enforcement agencies and judicial authorities diﬀer in their set-up and roles across the jurisdictions of the EU and, of course, these diﬀerences are reﬂected in how they interact with each...
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