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Spid candidates require renegotiation of EU police agreement: "Denmark is excluded"

DR-Politics in Politics

Thursday, May 30, 2024 • 9:30 AM UTC - in Politics

The Danish government should try to renegotiate the Danish agreement with the EU on European police cooperation, Europol.

According to a number of parties following Rigspolitiet's new report, which describes how Danish police are increasingly challenged by the agreement from 2017, Venstre's sharp candidate Morten Løkkegaard is concerned that Danish police do not have direct access to a range of tools in investigating cross-border crime at a time when technology is developing rapidly.

> "There is a shared responsibility. But the voters also have a co-responsibility."

> Morten Løkkegaard (V)

- Europol is getting more and more tools at its disposal. When we do not participate fully, we are still subject to outdated ways of doing things, which can slow down police work. We are drifting further and further away from the police cooperation we have always wanted to be a part of, he says.

The Danish agreement on Europol was negotiated on site with the EU seven years ago, after Denmark left the police cooperation because Danes voted to abolish the jurisdiction two years earlier.

This means, among other things, that Danish officers do not have direct access to the search tool Quest, which contains information about, among other things, persons, criminal organizations, and infringements from other countries.

If Danish officers want to obtain information, they must call an office and have someone perform the search for them. According to Rigspolitiet's new report, this is 'practically unmanageable', and therefore the officers use this possibility only to a limited extent.


Minister does not believe in a better deal


Another government party – the Moderates – also sees a great need to improve the Danish agreement on Europol.

- We risk being left behind on the platform while the train goes by. We eventually want to abolish the jurisdiction, but it will take time. In the meantime, we must work hard to improve and expand Danish cooperation with Europol, says sharp candidate Stine Bosse.

The Radical's sharp candidate, Sigrid Friis, calls it 'ridiculous' that Denmark is not a full member of Europol.

- The world is changing, and the need to combat cross-border crime is not diminishing since 2015, quite the opposite. Many other member states are expanding cooperation, and it is ridiculous that Denmark is standing outside, she says.

However, it is difficult to find optimism in government offices.

Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard (S) assures that the government is doing what it can to reduce the consequences of Denmark no longer being a full member of Europol.

But he does not believe that Denmark can get a better deal than the current one.

- It's partly not something Denmark can decide alone. And I don't think we can get a better deal than the one we have now.

- And that will certainly be the decisive question in any possible renegotiation, if we at some point decide to renegotiate, the justice minister says in a written response to DR.


Admitting responsibility


The Left recommended a no vote on the abolition of jurisdiction, but the EU spokesperson for the Left, Søren Søndergaard, does not consider the current Europol agreement to be a major problem for Danish police.

- It's some small things that, at present, are primarily of a technical nature. Some things take a little longer time, he says, and underlines that the Left supports Denmark being a full member of Europol, but he stands firm on the fact that it was right to recommend a no vote on the abolition of jurisdiction in 2015.

- It's unfortunate that being part of Europol was tied to abolishing the entire jurisdiction, with all that it entails. Those who did it have a great responsibility, says Søren Søndergaard.

Venstre's Morten Løkkegaard acknowledges today that Danish police currently do not have the same opportunities to investigate cross-border crime as many of their colleagues in other EU countries.

- It didn't succeed in convincing the Danes to vote yes to abolishing jurisdiction in 2015. We have to respect that. There is a shared responsibility. But the voters also have a co-responsibility, he says.

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