Switzerland designated the Federal Office of Police fedpol to act as the national contact point between Europol and other competent authorities of Switzerland.
Switzerland and Europol concluded a cooperation agreement that came into force on 1 March 2006. The agreement enables the exchange of strategic, operational, and other specific information. To enhance cooperation, four liaison officers of fedpol and a liaison officer of the Federal Office for Customs and Border Security (FOCBS) have been stationed at the Europol headquarters in The Hague. In 2018, the scope of application of the agreement was extended in relation to Europol's mandate and now covers 30 areas of crime.
- the exchange of operational informatio
- the exchange of specific information (expert knowledge)
- the exchange of strategic information (threat analyses)
- the exchange of situation reports on topical issues
- the exchange of know-how regarding investigative methods and information on crime prevention
- the participation in joint, cross-country working groups and task forces
- the participation in joint, Europe-wide operations and actions
- joint training
- providing advice on and assistance with investigations
Cooperation encompasses 30 areas of crime, including:
- drug trafficking
- trafficking in human beings and migrant smuggling
- counterfeiting of money and product piracy
- money laundering
- illicit firearms trafficking
- Federal and cantonal police
- Federal and cantonal police prosecuting and immigration authorities
- The Federal Office for Customs and Border Security (FOCBS)
- The administrative units of the Federal Intelligence Service (FIS) entrusted with the tasks of the former Service for Analysis and Prevention (DAP).
The cooperation agreement between Switzerland and Europol covers data processing comprehensively. Articles 7 to 13 govern data transmission, source and information classification, data correction and deletion, and classification or confidentiality of information. These fulfil the constitutional requirements regarding the right to privacy under Article 13 of the Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation and Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The liaison officers of fedpol and the Federal Office for Customs and Border Security (FOCBS) stationed at the Europol headquarters in The Hague assist in coordinating information exchange and facilitate cooperation with Europol.
Europol and Schengen are separate tools of European cooperation. They complement each other in that they pursue different goals and have different tasks. Europol’s main purpose is the exchange of police information with a view to preventing and combating organised crime. It analyses and makes available information it obtains from the various countries. Under the Schengen Agreement, a number of European countries have joined and created a network aimed at improving judicial and police cooperation. The central pillar of Schengen cooperation is the Schengen Information System (SIS), a database containing information on wanted or missing persons and objects.
The handling of Europol matters requires human resources, which were allocated by the Federal Council. Switzerland bears the annual costs of telecommunication between Berne and The Hague, whereas Europol provides office premises and infrastructure required by the liaison officers.
Last modification 06.03.2023