I would like to help today and donate

Next
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Next
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
CLOSE
NEWS

MEPs fail to hold Europol to account

Today, Members of the European Parliament voted in favour of a proposal to extend Europol’s mandate. The proposal effectively gives Europol a blank cheque to use and further develop high risk artificial intelligence for policing.

The move comes just two weeks after MEPs voted in LIBE’s AI in Criminal Matters report, which underlined the fundamental harms caused by AI in law enforcement and criminal justice. These harms are already a reality for many people in Europe, as documented by our Automating Injustice report.

Fair Trials’ European Legal and Policy Director Laure Baudrihaye-Gérard said: 

“We are deeply disappointed and concerned by today’s vote to extend Europol’s mandate. MEPs have already recognised the serious threat that artificial intelligence in policing poses to fundamental rights. We cannot understand why they have now given Europol free rein to develop and use these same tools that reinforce discrimination and undermine human rights.

All law enforcement agencies must operate with accountability and meaningful oversight. There is no reason that Europol should be exempt from these obligations.”

Today’s decision is particularly concerning when considering the upcoming debates on the EU’s AI Act. The European Commission’s proposal includes specific exemptions for Europol, which would mean that it is not subject to the safeguards in the proposal.

Laure Baudrihaye-Gérard stated:

“This is a massive carve-out which would enable Europol to operate without further regulation than what is provided in its mandate, which will now be extended even further.

Considering today’s vote, we are going down a path in which Europol is allowed to operate with little accountability or oversight. No-one is asking questions. No-one is holding the agency to account. It is deeply worrying for fundamental rights, including the right to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence.”

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please call the media team on +44 (0) 7749 785 932 or email [email protected]

Keep up to date

Receive updates on our work and news about Fair Trials globally

Some activities in the following sections on this website are funded by the European Union’s Justice Programme (2014-2020): Legal Experts Advisory Panel, Defence Rights Map, Case Law Database, Advice Guides, Resources, Campaigns, Publications, News and Events. This content represents the views of the authors only and is their sole responsibility. It cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.