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Volume 301: debated on Tuesday 25 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 12 November 1997, Official Report, column 558, what guidance will be issued to the Director of Europol on the requirement to waive the immunity of staff members of Europol where the immunity would impede the course of justice; if such guidance will be published; and if he will make a statement. [17769]

The need for, and content of, any such guidance will be for consideration once the Europol Convention has entered into force and Europol has taken up its activities. The Director will be accountable to the Management Board in the performance of his duties and it will be open to the Board to consider any difficulties that may arise in this area.Article 12 provides that the privileges and immunities granted under the provisions of the Protocol are conferred

"in the interests of Europol and not for the benefit of the individuals themselves"

and also that

"Europol shall co-operate at all times with the appropriate authorities of member states to facilitate the proper administration of justice".

Article 13 of the Protocol also provides that any disputes on a refusal to waive an immunity shall be referred to the Council of Ministers; if they are unable to reach a settlement, they shall decide on the modalities according to which they will be settled.