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Organised crime: common framework for liaison officers

The purpose of this Decision is to create a common framework for liaison officers seconded from the Member States with the aim of improving cooperation in preventing and combating all forms of international crime.


Council Decision 2003/170/JHA of 27 February 2003 on the common use of liaison officers posted abroad by the law enforcement agencies of the Member States [See amending acts].


On the basis of the experience gained as a result of Joint Action 96/602/JHA and in the light of the provisions of the Treaty of Amsterdam, the purpose of the Decision is to strengthen cooperation on the posting of liaison officers to third countries and international organisations in order to combat serious forms of cross-border crime more effectively.

"Liaison officer" means a representative of one of the Member States, posted abroad by a law enforcement agency to one or more third countries or to international organisations to establish and maintain contacts with the authorities in those countries or organisations with a view to preventing or investigating criminal offences. "Europol liaison officers" are employees seconded from Europol to enhance cooperation between third countries or organisations and Europol and to help combat serious forms of international crime.

The Member States must ensure that Member States' liaison officers posted to the same third country or international organisation:

  • meet regularly to exchange useful information;
  • work together to improve relations with the host country;
  • share tasks among themselves, where appropriate;
  • look after the interests of one or more other Member States, if this has been agreed by the Member States concerned;
  • participate in joint seminars on crime trends.

Any Member State which does not have a liaison officer in a third country may approach another Member State which does.

Each year, the Member States must notify the General Secretariat of the Council of the following:

  • the posting of liaison officers to a third country or organisation, including their responsibilities;
  • the national contact points that they must designate in order to facilitate implementation of this Decision.

The General Secretariat draws up an annual summary concerning the seconded liaison officers of the Member States and Europol, their duties and any cooperative agreements concluded on the posting of officers.

Europol liaison officers provide Europol with information relating to serious threats of criminal offences to Member States. Such information is communicated to the competent national authorities.

Joint Action 96/602/JHA and Article 47(4) of the Convention on the application of the Schengen Agreement are repealed.


ActEntry into force - Date of expiryDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Decision 2003/170/JHA26.03.2003-OJ L 67 of 12.03.2003

Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Decision 2006/560/JHA25.08.2006-OJ L 219 of 10.08.2006
Last updated: 30.04.2007
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