A unanimous Parliament has agreed that Denmark should remain in Europol, the European police co-operation, thus accepting the new terms outlined by the EU in the wake of the opt-out referendum.
The new agreement will come into effect on 1 May 2017, meaning that Denmark will no longer be a member of Europol, but will have the closest possible connection to the police co-operation.
“The parties have focused on the Danish police still having the opportunity to take part in operational police co-operation in Europol and have quick and effective access to Europol’s databases, as they are an invaluable tool for the Danish police,” the government said in a press release.
Denmark’s EU membership and continued participation in the Schengen agreement will enable it to have a closer collaboration with Europol than other nations that are not part of the police co-operation.
Denmark has been a member of Europol for 18 years, but a referendum in December last year resulted in 53 percent of Danes wanting to opt out.
The new agreement means the national police, Rigspolitiet, will not be allowed to directly search Europol’s criminal database, the Europol Information System (EIS), but it will be able to do so via Danish-speaking liaison officers based at Europol’s headquarters in the Hague 24/7.
Rigspolitiet will not have to explain its search requests, and they will have to be answered as soon as possible, which is an advantage to Norway, which also co-operates with Europol but is not a member of the EU.
Unlike Norway, Denmark will be allowed to attend meetings of the Europol management board in the role of an observer. Norway can only participate on an ad-hoc basis.
Furthermore, the Danish police will regularly receive information from Europol that is relevant to Denmark’s law enforcement agencies, which is a service the non-EU member Norway does not get.