Council Recommendation (EU) 2022/915 of 9 June 2022 on operational law enforcement cooperation

Published date13 June 2022
Subject MatterJustice and home affairs,Area of freedom, security and justice
Official Gazette PublicationOfficial Journal of the European Union, L 158, 13 June 2022
13.6.2022 EN Official Journal of the European Union L 158/53


of 9 June 2022

on operational law enforcement cooperation


Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 87(3) and Article 89, in conjunction with Article 292, thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,


(1) Cross-border law enforcement cooperation is essential to address security threats in and ensure the proper functioning of the Schengen area. It is essential that persons be prevented from escaping law enforcement authorities simply by moving from one Member State to another. Enhanced cross-border law enforcement cooperation between all law enforcement authorities of the Member States will help to improve the prevention, detection and investigation of criminal offences in the Union. Such enhanced cooperation covers cross-border actions between two or more Member States, such as cross-border hot pursuits and cross-border surveillance, and trans-national actions, such as joint operations, which involve the deployment of law enforcement officers in other Member States.
(2) Cross-border hot pursuits and cross-border surveillance are indispensable operational law enforcement cooperation instruments without which persons can escape law enforcement authorities by crossing the border to take advantage of the change of jurisdiction and the absence of continuity of law enforcement action. It should be recommended that the Member States address the existing limitations that some Member States have put in place, as they create obstacles which hinder the carrying out of such actions on their territory. It is also necessary, while respecting the competences of judicial authorities of each Member State, to adjust certain rules of engagement in cross-border law enforcement operations to monitor and detain persons under cross-border surveillance, in cross-border hot pursuits and during joint operations.
(3) Setting up permanent joint patrols and other joint operation capabilities is necessary to address criminal activities and the challenges for operational law enforcement cooperation that the permanent and growing mobility of people, goods and services inside the Union entails. By exchanging information, existing structures, such as the Police and Customs Cooperation Centres (PCCCs), play a major role in the fight against cross-border criminality. Where relevant, the PCCCs should be able to support joint patrols and other joint operations based on shared risk analysis and needs assessment, in accordance with the applicable legal requirements, in order to prevent and detect cross-border crimes conducted in internal Union border areas, and support investigations into those cross-border crimes.
(4) In order for the Member States, the Council and the Commission to acquire an accurate quantitative picture of the state of play of the implementation of cross-border law enforcement cooperation activities in the Union, it should be recommended that Member States, on an annual basis, collect data and compile statistics on their operational law enforcement cooperation and report those statistics. Those statistics could provide detailed knowledge and a more thorough understanding of the needs of the Member States and of any potential issues that need to be addressed at Union level.
(5) Criminal networks take advantage of the absence of controls at internal borders of the Union to pursue their criminal activities. Joint patrols and other joint operations are valuable tools to counter all types of cross-border crime.
(6) Where relevant and appropriate, it should be possible for Member States to implement the recommendations on cross-border operational law enforcement cooperation in the context of the European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats (EMPACT) to tackle identified and prioritised threats posed by serious and organised international crime. For instance, targeted joint patrols are a flexible instrument based on intelligence-led policing that can be initiated by the relevant law enforcement authorities. Targeted joint patrols could also be used by Member States alongside other operational actions in the operational action plans (OAPs) of EMPACT to tackle specific priority crime areas.
(7) The limited availability of law enforcement officers that Member States can deploy abroad and the lack of coordinated deployment based on prior joint analysis can render law enforcement deployment in other Member States ineffective. To simplify the administrative and logistical management of joint patrols and other joint operations, it should be recommended that a support platform with pan-European dimension be set up. Through such a support platform, Member States could exchange information regarding their needs and facilitate the efficient and effective deployment of joint patrols and other joint operations, in order to maintain and enhance public order and safety, to prevent criminal offences and to help address specific crime waves in key locations, at specific times and in specific situations. Where appropriate, the support platform could benefit from Union funding, and administrative and logistical support from the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) established by Regulation (EU) 2016/794 of the European Parliament and of the Council (1).
(8) Communication and access to available information are critical for successful cross-border operational law enforcement cooperation. It should be recommended that Member States allow law enforcement officers acting in another Member State to have real-time access to information held in Union information systems by means of the European Search Portal (ESP) and to their relevant national databases through mobile solutions, such as portable devices or in-car mounted law enforcement computers, in accordance with applicable access rights and applicable Union and national law. It should be recommended that the information provided to the law enforcement authorities of another Member State be limited to that required by the law enforcement officers for the performance of their duties during cross-border law enforcement cooperation. It should also be recommended that law enforcement officers acting in another Member State be equipped with reliable and secure, real-time inter-connectable mobile means of communication, such as instant messaging tools, that function across borders in order to communicate directly with their authorities and the authorities of the host Member State. It is necessary to ensure the interconnectivity of secure means of communication across borders that, as a minimum, enable the secure use of real-time mobile means of communication, as well as the geolocation of law enforcement vehicles used by the law enforcement officers, for example through GPS tracking or drones, during a cross-border law enforcement operation. Therefore, it should be recommended that the Member States, according to their specific needs, make use of the technical solutions to be provided, for instance, by Europol on the advice in particular of its innovation lab as well as drawing from the relevant work and projects of the European Innovation hub for internal security, by dedicated expert groups such as the Core Group on Secure Communications and European Network of Law Enforcement Technology Services (ENLETS), as well as by projects such as the BroadWay project. Member States can also ensure such interconnectivity by interlinking legacy systems with neighbouring Member States.
(9) Effective cross-border operational law enforcement cooperation necessitates moving towards a common Union law enforcement culture. Setting up of joint initial training courses, such as those set up by Spain and France in Valdemoro, exchange programmes between law enforcement cadets on matters relating to that cooperation and continuous development courses on those matters for law enforcement officers and crime investigators is instrumental in building skills, knowledge and confidence. It is important that Member States include, within their national initial training courses for law enforcement cadets, the possibility of a course on cross-border operational law enforcement cooperation. It is also important that Member States seek to design or adjust, in cooperation with the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL) established by Regulation (EU) 2015/2219 of the European Parliament and of the Council (2), courses on cross-border operational law enforcement cooperation, and that Member States provide language training to be used for national continuous training of officers. Career paths could be envisaged for law enforcement cadets and officers who complete such training courses. It should be recommended that Member States continue to make best use of CEPOL by informing CEPOL of their training needs, supporting CEPOL’s activities and contributing to the alignment of their training portfolio to the priorities related to cross-border law enforcement cooperation set in the EU Strategic Training Needs Assessments (EU-STNAs). It should be recommended that Member States reflect on the possibility of creating large-scale and long-term pan-European joint training and exchange programmes for law enforcement cadets and officers in the field of cross-border operational law enforcement cooperation.
(10) Given the importance of coordination and cooperation in relation to the issues addressed in this Recommendation, and in particular its implementation, there should be a standing discussion point on cross-border operational law enforcement cooperation in the relevant

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