Today, Europol hosted an EMPACT meeting to focus on intelligence and operational actions linked to threats of serious and organised crime, which have emerged as a result of the war in Ukraine. This meeting follows the mobilisation of the EMPACT framework by the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the European Commission to address these threats. EU Ministers of the Interior endorsed this initiative at the extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs Council on 28 March 2022, as set out in the 10-Point Plan for stronger European coordination on welcoming people fleeing the war against Ukraine. Immediately after, Europol started organising, together with the French presidency, today’s meeting at its headquarters in The Hague to discuss coordinated operational actions.
During the EMPACT meeting at Europol, representatives of the EU Member States, including the drivers of the operational action plans for 15 crime areas, discussed concrete steps to address the development of serious and organised crime threats linked to the war in Ukraine. This includes the gathering of more intelligence, the implementation of emergency operational actions based on EMPACT flexibility and adaptation culture, the possibility of setting up ad hoc joint action days and the potential allocation of additional grants to fund operational activities targeting these crimes.
Initial intelligence analysis of these criminal threats identified crime patterns in a number of areas including human trafficking, online fraud, cybercrime and firearms trafficking. The evolution of the situation in Ukraine may potentially lead to an increase of criminal activities in all 10 EMPACT priority crime areas. Therefore, it is necessary to mobilise resources and increase the preparedness of the EMPACT community in order to respond in a swift and coordinated manner to these evolving threats.
EU Member States and operational partners are actively sharing all available information and criminal intelligence with Europol, which cross-checks and analyses the information, turning it into actionable operational intelligence notifications, such as early warning notifications and threat assessments, shared with all partners.
The operational cooperation approach of the EMPACT framework gathers different national authorities together, including police, gendarmerie, customs and border guards, as well as judicial authorities. Non-EU countries, international organisations, and other public and private partners may also be associated. This multidisciplinary approach, which includes both intelligence analysis and operational actions, plays a central role in the joint EU response to the prevention, detection and tackling of serious and organised crime affecting the European Union and its citizens.
The European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats (EMPACT) tackles the most important threats posed by organised and serious international crime affecting the EU. EMPACT strengthens intelligence, strategic and operational cooperation between national authorities, EU institutions and bodies, and international partners. EMPACT runs in four-year cycles focusing on common EU crime priorities.
- Publication date
- 7 April 2022
- Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs