Europe and Counterterrorism: Strengthening Police and Judicial Cooperation [Updated October 15, 2004] [open pdf - 211KB]
"The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States gave new momentum to European Union (EU) initiatives to combat terrorism and other crossborder crimes such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, and financial fraud. For many years, EU efforts to address such challenges were hampered by national sovereignty concerns, insufficient resources, and a lack of trust among law enforcement agencies. However, the terrorist attacks and the subsequent revelation of Al Qaeda cells in Europe changed this status quo as it became increasingly evident that the EU's open borders and different legal systems allowed terrorists and other criminals to move around easily and evade arrest and prosecution. Thus, EU officials renewed their efforts to harmonize national laws and bring down traditional barriers among member states' police, intelligence, and judicial authorities. As part of this initiative, the EU has also sought to enhance ongoing cooperation with U.S. law enforcement and judicial authorities so that information can be meaningfully shared and suspects apprehended expeditiously. This report will be updated as events warrant."
CRS Report for Congress, RL31509