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U.S. and European Union sign agreement to combat transnational crime

WASHINGTON—Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales announced recently that the United States signed an Executive Agreement with Eurojust, the judicial cooperation unit of the European Union (E.U.), which will improve transatlantic law enforcement coordination and enhance the ability of the U.S. and the E.U. to fight international crime. The agreement will foster the exchange of information between law enforcement communities in the U.S., and the E.U. and will strengthen cooperative efforts to prevent and prosecute organized crime, human trafficking, cybercrime and terrorism.

Specifically, the agreement establishes the position of U.S. liaison prosecutor to Eurojust. The liaison prosecutor will be based at Eurojust headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands, and will facilitate law enforcement cooperation between the U.S. and the E.U. on a day-to-day basis. The agreement particularly ensures the protection of personal information and individual privacy for both citizens of the U.S. and the E.U.

“This agreement is just one more example of the strong relationship that exists between the United States and the European Union on law enforcement issues,” Gonzales said. “It represents an important part of our ongoing efforts to combat transnational crime and international terrorism while protecting the civil liberties of our citizens.”

The Executive Agreement was signed following troika meetings hosted by Gonzales at the Department of Justice with Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, Minister of Justice of Finland Leena Luhtanen, Minister of Interior of Finland Kari Rajamaki and Vice President of the European Commission Franco Frattini. n

Published in Public Safety IT, Jan/Feb 2007

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