Europol is the European law enforcement agency. Our job is to make Europe safer by assisting the Member States of the European Union in their fight against serious international crime and terrorism. Large–scale criminal and terrorist networks pose a significant threat to the internal security of the EU and to the safety and livelihood of its people. The biggest security threats come from terrorism, international drug trafficking and money laundering, organised fraud, counterfeiting of the euro currency, and people smuggling. But new dangers are also accumulating, in the form of cyber crime, trafficking in human beings, and other modern-day threats. This is a multi–billion euro business, quick to adapt to new opportunities and resilient in the face of traditional law enforcement measures.
The agency uses its unique information capabilities and the expertise of 700 staff to identify and track the most dangerous criminal and terrorist networks in Europe. Law enforcement authorities in the EU rely on this intelligence work and the services of Europol’s operational coordination centre and secure information network, to carry out almost 12 000 cross–border investigations each year. These have led to the disruption of many criminal and terrorist networks, to the arrest of thousands of dangerous criminals, to the recovery of millions of euro in criminal proceeds, and to the recovery from harm of hundreds of victims, including children trafficked for sexual exploitation. Europol also acts as a major centre of expertise in key fields of law enforcement activity and as a European centre for strategic intelligence on organised crime. Its Organised Crime Threat Assessment is a seminal product for EU policy–makers and police chiefs.
Europol enjoys excellent cooperation arrangements with law enforcement partners in Europe and beyond. It also values its accountability arrangements and data protection regime, which are among the most robust and transparent in the world. We welcome public interest in our work and trust that the contents of this website offer the reader a good illustration of our activities, the responsible way in which they are carried out, and the impact they are having in making Europe safer.