The Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU supports greater cooperation between Member States in the response to crime – a position endorsed today by the Portuguese Ministers of Justice and for Home Affairs.
Francisca Van Dunem, the Minister of Justice, believes that the protection of European citizens cannot be achieved through fragmented action among the 27 or merely sectoral approaches. For her, “a joint effort is necessary, combining the two dimensions of police and judicial cooperation, and is essential for a common, multidisciplinary and integrated response”.
During Europol’s presentation in Lisbon of the Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment Report, Van Dunem stated that cooperation and the sharing of information between the different national authorities in the Union, and between them and Europol, are of fundamental importance to the fight against organised crime, terrorism, money laundering and other criminal activities such as the sexual abuse of children online or the sale of counterfeit vaccines.
For this reason, she concluded, the Portuguese Presidency decided to include the topic of counterfeiting in the European Union’s agenda, drawing attention to the “growing involvement of organised crime in these activities and the urgent need to resist it, as has been shown during the pandemic that we are experiencing”.
For his part, the Minister for Home Affairs, Eduardo Cabrita, stressed the need to “join forces” to take action in areas of “extremely high specialisation, such as encryption or the analysis of great quantities of data or metadata”, which are essential to the fight against “the new criminal threats arising today from the digital world”.
The Minister guaranteed that Portugal will maintain its total commitment to “European police cooperation and in the future to the upholding of the values of Europe as an area of liberty, security and justice”.
The presentation of the report, alternatively referred to as SOCTA 2021, was also attended by the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, and the Executive Director of Europol, Catherine De Bolle.
Published every four years since 2013, the document gives a detailed analysis of the serious and organised crime threat facing the European Union and provides information for professionals, decision makers and the general public.