The National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia and the European Parliament co-organised the ninth meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group on Europol, which was held in Brussels. The meeting was devoted to an overview of Europol’s activities in the present year and the presentation of Europol Draft Multiannual Programming Document 2022-2024. Cybercrime in the EU was also discussed, with a focus on online child abuse, financial crime and corruption.
Slovenian Minister of the Interior Aleš Hojs said in his opening address that Europol is one of the key partners in ensuring internal security. “It provides invaluable operational support to the police forces of our countries in conducting investigations through its analytical capabilities, innovation and expertise,” Hojs stated. He went on to highlight Europol’s important role in cooperation with the neighbouring regions, especially the Western Balkans.
“This is why the revision of Europol’s mandate is one of the key priorities for Slovenia during our Presidency of the Council of the EU. We are actively working at both the expert and political levels to reach an agreement on the text between the co-legislators as soon as possible. I will personally make every effort for an agreement on the text to be reached while I have the honour and privilege to represent the position of the Council of the EU,” Mr Hojs said and expressed his satisfaction that the European Parliament had approved the mandate for the negotiations and that the first political meeting on the revision of Europol’s mandate would take place tomorrow. “I am confident that all stakeholders will do their utmost to agree on the text by the end of this year,” Hojs said.
In his address, the Minister also touched upon the fight against child sexual abuse: “Slovenia has recognised the importance of the fight against child sexual abuse on the internet, and has also recognised the importance and the necessity of strengthening international cooperation in the detection and investigation of crimes in this area. Hence this is one of the important priorities during the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU, with an emphasis on the key role of close cooperation in the Western Balkan region and, of course, with Europe and the European institutions. This is the reason that on 11-12 November 2021 a special ministerial meeting on the prevention, detection and investigation of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children will be held at Brdo pri Kranju, which will be attended by interior ministers of the EU Member States, the Western Balkan countries and the United States, as well as representatives of the European Commission, the European Parliament and Europol,” concluded minister Hojs.