Europol : is the centralised model of information exchange the most appropriate for Europol?
This research examines the European criminal intelligence
agency known as Europol, both within the context of its genesis
and development to date, and against the background of police
cooperation in Europe generally. In doing this, the research asks
the question, is the centralised mode of information exchange
upon which Europol is grounded, the most appropriate?
This model, termed the centralised state model, postulates a
system in which a single national or supranational body controls
the exchange of information/intelligence. The application of this
model to Europol indicates that a strategic intelligence approach
that maintains national sovereignty and autonomy has been given
preference. This thesis examines the application of this model
to the information/intelligence exchange process between Europol
and selected member states since its inception. The data gathered
will be analysed to show whether or not, in the light of the
organisation's experiences and evolution over it's first four
years, the centralised model is the most appropriate, or whether
either another model should have been adopted, or another one has
evolved over a period of time.
The relevance of this answer is that it will have significant
implications for the concept of state sovereignty in Europe. A
Europol based on the centralised model does not threaten the
nation state's traditional monopoly on the powers of coercion.
A Europol however that has evolved into another model which
includes increasing tactical and operational involvement, could
indicate the transfer of some policing competence from the
national to the European level. Such a development will have an
enormous impact upon the concept of the nation state in Europe.