Is Europol a Comprehensive Policing Actor?

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This article provides an assessment of Europol as a comprehensive policing actor with a particular focus on crime-fighting. It argues that Europol has moved beyond some of the early obstacles it faced regarding the lack of trust and confidence from the police forces of the member states and the limitations that those issues had caused. The agency now makes contributions in all of the broad areas associated with international crime-fighting. As a result, it can be argued that Europol's mandate and activities include the range of police functions comprised by policing in the area of crime-fighting. However, although the EU's promotion of Europol and its increased mandate have given the agency significant potential to fulfil these functions in a deep and complete way, in practice this has been achieved only in some areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-387
JournalPerspectives on European Politics and Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2013


  • Counter-terrorism
  • crime-fighting
  • Europol
  • police functions
  • policing


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