EU Criminal Intelligence Cooperation - Challenges of Oversight and Accountability

Artur Gruszczak

The EU for more than a decade has developed forms and mechanisms of criminal intelligence. The European Criminal Intelligence Model, intelligence tradecraft practiced by Europol and networked arrangements of criminal information exchange and intelligence sharing are examples of the widening scope of cooperation between EU member states as relevant agencies and bodies. As a result of this cooperation, the bulk of information discreetly provided by member states is held and processed at EU level. EU agencies and bodies transfer sensitive data and handle a wide variety of intelligence deliverables. The contentious issue of oversight of intelligence activities and accountability of services and bodies involved in intelligence sharing has also been identified with regard to criminal intelligence cooperation in the EUGiven the specific nature of EU intelligence cooperation, this paper elaborates on the concept of tri-dimensional accountability. It underscores the peculiar aspects of intelligence co-operation in the EU by analysing oversight and control functions performed by EU institutions and bodies in two dimensions: horizontal and vertical. It also frames the complexity of EU intelligence control mechanisms in the context of tensions between national scrutiny and supranational oversight. The paper builds on the observation that institutional oversight includes a set of measures, procedures and mechanisms generated at the intersection of separate ambits of intelligence management and tradecraft practiced in the EU by its agencies and member states. It advances the thesis that oversight and accountability of EU criminal intelligence cooperation are subject to disaggregated policy arrangements established at different levels of co-ordination of knowledge management practices in the realm of EU internal security cooperation.

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