Today, Georgia’s Minister of Internal Affairs, Giorgi Mghebrishvili, and Europol’s Director, Rob Wainwright, signed an Agreement on Operational and Strategic Cooperation to expand cooperation to combat serious and organised cross-border criminal activities. As a response to urgent problems arising from international organised crime and terrorism, the agreement allows for the exchange of information, including personal data of suspected criminals, and the joint planning of operational activities. The agreement relates to all areas of crime within Europol’s mandate. Georgia will designate a national contact point to act as the central point of contact between Europol and the competent authorities of Georgia.
Georgia’s Minister of Internal Affairs, Giorgi Mghebrishvili: “After entry into force of the Agreement, Georgia will become Europol’s operational partner, which is an important step forward for Georgia on its way to European integration. Georgia will cooperate with Europol in full extent and also strengthen already existing effective law enforcement cooperation with EU Member States in tackling transnational crime”.
Europol’s Director Rob Wainwright: “Europol is committed to strengthening cooperation with Georgia and recognises that effective law enforcement cooperation is an important element of Georgia’s deepening relationship with the EU.”
The signing of the Agreement on Operational and Strategic Cooperation concludes the successful negotiations between Georgia and Europol on how to effectively join forces to fight serious and organised crime, and terrorism. After entry into force of the agreement, this new level of cooperation will be important for tackling priority crime areas affecting both the European Union and Georgia, such as drug trafficking, organised property crime, cybercrime and migrant smuggling.
The cooperation agreement between Georgia and Europol was approved by the Council of the European Union and backed by the European Parliament, and was signed on 4th April in Tbilisi. The agreement will enter into force after ratification by Georgia.