Published: 30 June 2011 Modified: 30 June 2011
Europol is the law enforcement agency of the European Union. Its aim is to help achieve a safer Europe by supporting the law enforcement agencies of European Union member states in their fight against international serious crime and terrorism.
More than 700 staff at Europol headquarters in The Hague work closely with law enforcement agencies in the 27 European Union member states and in other non-EU partner states such as Australia, Canada, the United States and Norway.
As the European Union’s law enforcement agency, Europol’s mission is to
support its Member States in preventing and combating all forms of
serious international crime and terrorism. Its role is to help achieve a safer Europe for the benefit of all EU
citizens by supporting EU law enforcement authorities through the
exchange and analysis of criminal intelligence. Attention is given to terrorism, illicit drug trafficking, illegal immigration and people trafficking networks, the illicit trafficking of vehicles, and forgery and money laundering.
This European law enforcement organisation was established under the Maastricht treaty of February 1992. Two years later a pioneering European Drugs Unit started, and by July 1999 Europol was well-established in all fields of criminality and commended its full activities in The Hague.
In July 2011 Europol's new headquarters was officially opened in The Hague's International Zone.