Switzerland and Europol concluded a co-operation agreement that came into force on 1 March 2006. The agreement enables the exchange of strategic, operative, and other specific information. To further co-operation, 3 Swiss liaison officers and one liaison officer of the Federal Customs Administration (FCA) have been posted to the Europol headquarters in The Hague. 2018 the scope of cooperation was updated and now embraces 30 areas of crime
- the exchange of operative information
- the exchange of specific information (expert knowledge)
- the exchange of strategic information (threat analyses)
- the exchange of situation reports on topical issues
- the exchange of know-how regarding investigative methods and information on crime prevention
- joint training
- providing advice on and assistance with investigations
Co-operation encompasses 30 areas of crime, including:
- drug trafficking
- human trafficking and migrant smuggling
- counterfeiting of goods and money
- money laundering
- arms trafficking
The Federal Office of Police (fedpol) is Switzerland’s contact for Europol.
- federal and cantonal police, prosecuting and immigration authorities
- the Swiss Customs Administration
The co-operation agreement between Switzerland and Europol covers data processing comprehensively. Articles 7 to 13 govern data transmission, source and information classification, data correction and deletion, and classification or confidentiality of information. These fulfil the constitutional requirements regarding the protection of privacy under Article 13 of the Swiss Constitution and Article 8 of the Convention on Human Rights.
The 3 liaison officers and one liaison officer of the Federal Customs Administration (FCA) posted to the Europol headquarters in The Hague assist in co-ordinating information exchange and facilitate co-operation with Europol.
Europol and Schengen are separate tools of European co-operation. They complement each other in that they pursue different goals and have different tasks. Europol’s main purpose is the exchange of police information with a view to preventing and combating organised crime. It analyses and makes available information it obtains from the various countries. Under the Schengen Agreement, a number of European countries have joined and created a network aimed at improving judicial and police co-operation. The central pillar of Schengen co-operation is the Schengen Information System (SIS), a database containing information on wanted or missing persons and objects.
Fedpol has been allocated seven full-time positions to deal with Europol matters. 4 of these positions comprise the liaison officers at The Hague. Switzerland bears the annual costs of telecommunication between Bern and The Hague, whereas Europol pays the costs for the office premises and infrastructure required by the liaison officers.
Last modification 07.09.2018