Brussels, 17 March 2011
Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme: Commission publishes report on joint EU-US review
Commissioner Cecilia Malmström presented today the outcome of the first EU-US review of the implementation of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme to the LIBE Committee in the European Parliament. The joint report provides a close and detailed look into how the agreement has been implemented since its entry into force on 1 August 2010 and whether the necessary elements have been put in place.
Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner responsible for Home Affairs, said: "I am very pleased that we have completed the first comprehensive review of the EU-US TFTP agreement. Today's report shows that all the relevant elements of the agreement have been implemented in accordance with its provisions, including the data protection provisions. Our US colleagues have worked in a very constructive manner with us to make this review possible. We must continue to work together in order to improve our cooperation even further and implement the recommendations put forward by the EU review team as regards increased transparency and more written information to Europol. I would also like to express my support for Europol and its Director. Europol was given a difficult and sensitive task under the Agreement. The review confirms that Europol has taken this task very seriously, and has put in place the necessary procedures to execute it in a professional manner and in accordance with the agreement."
The report's main recommendation aims at ensuring that Europol receives as much information as possible from US authorities in written form. Further recommendations aim at increasing the transparency of the program and further enhancing Europol's verification procedure so that US requests are substantiated in a more verifiable way. The EU review team also recommends that more feedback is sought on the added value the agreement brings to counter-terrorism work, so that this can be followed up as part of future reviews.
The next review should follow up on the recommendations made and review whether they have been satisfactory implemented.
The TFTP agreement between the European Union and the United States came into force on 1 August 2010. In accordance with Article 13, the first joint review took place six months after that date. The review took place on 17-18 February 2011 in Washington in a joint effort with US representatives. The report, however, provides the views and recommendations of the EU team only. In accordance with Article 13 of the Agreement, three Commission officials and two data protection experts formed part of the EU review team, as well as a judicial expert from Eurojust.