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Georgia joins Europol

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, December 26
Georgia’s Minister of Internal Affairs has announced that the European Parliament approved a project that envisages Georgia becoming a partner state for Europol, the law enforcement agency of the European Union (EU) assisting the 28 EU member states in their fight against serious international crime and terrorism, as well as EU partner nations.

Mgebrishvili stressed on Thursday that the European Parliament made an “historic decision” for Georgia through confirming a project on the Operative and Strategic Cooperation Agreement between Georgia and Europol.

“Approving the project is an historic decision and means in terms of police activities Georgia has already intergraded into the European space,” Mgebrishvili stated.

Mgebrishvili stated after approving the project at the European Parliament’s plenary session, the Council of Europe would allow the Europol chairperson to visit Georgia in the near future for the deal to be directly signed between Georgia and Europol representatives.

He highlighted that the future partnership between Georgia and Europol would ensure close cooperation, the sharing of information – including personal data – receiving analyses-based important police information from Europol, and Georgia’s involvement in joint investigative groups.

Georgia will also send its own representative to Europol headquarters.

“Europol had signed such type of agreement with foreign states like the United States, Canada, Australia, Norway, Switzerland and Ireland,” Mgebrishvili stressed.

The Minister added that before approving the cooperation project, experts from Europol visited Georgia in June 2015 to study the situation in terms of personal data protection at the scene.