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Switzerland to work more closely with Europol

Europol became fully operational in 1999. Europol

The cabinet has signed an agreement with the European Police Office (Europol) to increase cooperation in organised crime investigations.

This content was published on April 11, 2002 - 07:55

The cabinet called it an important step towards Switzerland's integration in a European security zone.

The deal, which must still be ratified by parliament, is aimed at improving the exchange of information in cases presumably linked to organised crime. This includes international terrorism, drug trafficking, human slavery and child pornography.

The exchange also concerns money laundering cases that are linked to other crimes under investigation. The agreement also foresees the presence of liaison officers abroad.

Schengen accord

Wednesday's agreement with Europol does not affect Swiss plans to join the Schengen accord, which are included in bilateral negotiations - known as Bilaterals II - between Switzerland and the EU. The Schengen accord concerns police cooperation at European borders.

Based in the Dutch city of The Hague, Europol started limited operations on 3 January 1994, before commencing its full activities on July 1, 1999. Its aim is to gather and analyse information provided by EU members and other countries.

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