Policing Terrorism in Europe: The Role of Europol
Besides Interpol, other international police organizations also focus on terrorism-related investigations, the development of which has been considerably impacted since the events of 9/11. Among the regional organizations aimed at fostering international police cooperation is the European Police Office (Europol), the police organization that was established to promote cooperation among the law enforcement agencies of the European Union (EU). The idea of a European police was originally conceived in the Treaty on the European Union in 1992. Limited operations of a European police office began in 1994 with an emphasis on drug enforcement, which was later extended to cover organized crime. In 1998, the Council of European Union Ministers formally approved an extension of Europol’s mandate to include counterterrorism. Also already agreed upon was the creation of a specialized counterterrorism unit within Europol, which eventually was set up shortly after 9/11.