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Council Decision of 6 April 2009 establishing the European Police Office (Europol) (2009/371/JHA)

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Article 8U.K.+E.U.National units

1.Each Member State shall establish or designate a national unit responsible for carrying out the tasks set out in this Article. An official shall be appointed in each Member State as the head of the national unit.

2.The national unit shall be the only liaison body between Europol and the competent authorities of the Member States. Member States, however, may allow direct contacts between designated competent authorities and Europol subject to conditions determined by the Member State in question, including prior involvement of the national unit.

The national unit shall at the same time receive from Europol any information exchanged in the course of direct contacts between Europol and designated competent authorities. Relations between the national unit and the competent authorities shall be governed by national law, and in particular, the relevant national constitutional requirements.

3.Member States shall take the measures necessary to ensure that their national units are able to fulfil their tasks and, in particular, have access to relevant national data.

4.The national units shall:

(a)

supply Europol on their own initiative with the information and intelligence necessary for it to carry out its tasks;

(b)

respond to Europol’s requests for information, intelligence and advice;

(c)

keep information and intelligence up to date;

(d)

evaluate information and intelligence in accordance with national law for the competent authorities and transmit that material to them;

(e)

issue requests for advice, information, intelligence and analysis to Europol;

(f)

supply Europol with information for storage in its databases;

(g)

ensure compliance with the law in every exchange of information between themselves and Europol.

5.Without prejudice to the Member States’ discharging the responsibilities incumbent upon them with regard to the maintenance of law and order and the safeguarding of internal security, a national unit shall not in any particular case be obliged to supply information or intelligence if that would entail:

(a)

harming essential national security interests;

(b)

jeopardising the success of a current investigation or the safety of individuals; or

(c)

disclosing information relating to organisations or specific intelligence activities in the field of State security.

6.The costs incurred by the national units in communications with Europol shall be borne by the Member States and, apart from the costs of connection, shall not be charged to Europol.

7.The heads of the national units shall meet on a regular basis to assist Europol on operational matters, on their own initiative or at the request of the Management Board or the Director, in particular to:

(a)

consider and develop proposals that will improve Europol’s operational effectiveness and encourage commitment from Member States;

(b)

evaluate the reports and analyses drafted by Europol in accordance with Article 5(1)(f) and develop measures in order to help to implement their findings;

(c)

provide support in the establishment of joint investigation teams involving Europol in accordance with Article 5(1)(d) and Article 6.

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