The Scrutiny group gathers national MPs from all member states and MEPs in order to discuss and monitor Europol’s activities. Stronger democratic scrutiny was a key objective for the European Parliament in the negotiations with EU Ministers on the Europol regulation adopted in May 2016.The scrutiny group is a result of these new rules in order to “politically monitor Europol’s activities in fulfilling its mission”, with particular attention to respect of fundamental rights and personal freedoms. Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes who chaired the opening (S&D, UK) said:”Today’s first meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group of Europol marks a very important step towards strengthening the democratic governance of the European Union. This Group, which brings together members from the European Parliament and national parliaments, will have an essential role in monitoring the activities of Europol, which is one of the most successful policing and security organisations anywhere in the world. Our task will be vital to ensure that all of the agencies’ activities are fully in line with fundamental rights and freedoms.”
Parliament’s lead MEP on Europol Agustín Díaz de Mera (EPP, ES) added that:“The establishment of the Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group, with representatives of the EP and the national parliaments, increases Europol’s legitimacy, trust, effectiveness and transparency”.