Interpol vs. Europol

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Difference between Interpol and Europol

Interpol may be a lot more famous than Europol, but that’s probably because it has been around longer. Nevertheless, both are noteworthy police organizations worthy of comparison, and a closer look at the two is exactly what we offer here.

Interpol
Europol

Profile

Interpol, or the International Criminal Police Organization, is an organization set up primarily to facilitate cooperation between international police organizations. The organization started out as the International Criminal Police Commission in 1923, and has used the present name since 1956.

Europol, or the European Police Office, is the official criminal intelligence agency of the European Union. Europol was established in July of 1999 s a result of the Maastricht Treaty of 1992. Europol itself started operations on a limited scale in January of 1994, when it was first focused primarily on drug-related crime as the Europol Drugs Unit or EDU. By 1998, all the member states of the European Union ratified the Europol Convention, and Europol as a unit began operating in July of 1999.

Origins

The origins of Interpol can be traced to the First International Criminal Police Congress in 1914, in which police officers, lawyers and magistrates from several countries convened in Monaco for the purpose of discussing extradition procedures, procedures governing arrests, identification methods, and the centralization of criminal records internationally. The coming of World War I forestalled these discussions however, and it wasn't until 1923 that Interpol was established as the International Criminal Police or ICP.

Europol for its part traces its origins to TREVI, which was basically a forum intended to foster internal security cooperation among EEC/EC interior and justice ministers. It would take the Council Decision of April 2009 to finally establish the European Police Office as a criminal intelligence agency.

Functions

Interpol was set up as a politically neutral organization, a role which it carries out by forbidding involvement in crimes that do not concern its member countries. In addition, the organization inhibits itself from crimes that are political, military, religious, or racial in nature. Interpol therefore focuses mainly on issues regarding public safety, terrorist acts, organized crime, crimes against humanity and the environment, genocide, war crimes, and the like. Interpol is also involved in campaigns against piracy, the drug trade, arms smuggling, and a host of activities such as white-collar and computer related crime, as well as those dealing with intellectual property.

As for Europol, its primary objective is to focus on enhancing the cooperation between authorities of its member states. In the pursuits of this goal, Europol seeks to share intelligence resources as a means to address organized crime activities of an international scope. It is also important to note that Europol does not have executive powers, which means that it does not have the authority to conduct investigations or to arrest suspected criminals.

Similarities and Differences

Interpol

  • An organization set up primarily to facilitate cooperation between international police organizations
  • Set up as a politically neutral organization
  • Focuses mainly on issues regarding public safety, terrorist acts, organized crime, crimes against humanity and the environment, genocide, war crimes, and the like

Europol

  • The official criminal intelligence agency of the European Union
  • Does not have the authority to conduct investigations or to arrest suspected criminals

Which organization catches more offenders?
  • Interpol
  • Europol
 
 

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