This paper provides a fresh analysis of the legal regime regarding the exchange of personal data in the police cooperation area according to the New Europol Regulation, focusing on the novel international cooperation framework enabling the Agency to exchange personal data with third countries and international organisations. While exchanges of personal data within Europol's area of competence already entail complex interactions with the competent authorities of the Member States, the exchange of personal data by the Agency outside the EU adds yet another layer of complexity and raises particular concerns as regards data protection and individual rights which require tailored legal standards. Europol's international dimension is substantively redesigned by the New Europol Regulation in order to align arguably the Agency's legal regime with the Lisbon Treaty and with the 2012 Common Approach on EU agencies. Yet, it remains to be seen whether it provides for genuinely superior data protection safeguards and individual protection as compared to the previous Europol legal framework. Based on such a comparative outlook, the paper maps out the new legal framework governing exchanges of personal data between Europol and international partners, and addresses more specifically a number of salient issues pertaining to legal safeguards, supervisory mechanisms, and individual protection.
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