Europol launches European Migrant Smuggle Centre
- 29 February 2016
- 17 March 2016
Europol launched the new European Migrant Smuggling Centre (EMSC) in The Hague on 22 February. The goal of the Centre is to proactively support EU Member States in dismantling criminal networks involved in organised migrant smuggling.
The exponential increase of the migratory flow and the involvement of organised crime on a large scale, together with the number of requests for operational support from EU Member States, called for an adequate and coordinated European response.
The new-style European Migrant Smuggling Centre is modelled along the lines of similar initiatives such as the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and the European Counter Terrorism Centre (ECTC), both hosted at Europol. The launch of the Centre reflects the top priority status that migrant smuggling has now acquired.
The launch of the European Migrant Smuggling Centre followed a decision from the EU Justice and Home Affairs ministers from November 2015. Europol was invited by the Justice and Home Affairs ministers to accelerate the establishment of the European Migrant Smuggling Centre and to strengthen its capacity to support Member States in better preventing and fighting migrant smuggling.
The launch of the European Migrant Smuggling Centre took place during the 2nd Europol and INTERPOL Operational Forum on Countering Migrant Smuggling Networks.