22.02.2021

From Trevi to Europol: Germany’s role in the integration of EU police cooperation

Franca König & Florian Trauner
In Journal of European Integration

 

Abstract

This article assesses Germany’s role in the integration of EU police cooperation as a ‘core state power’ from its beginnings in the 1970s up to today. Relying on a mix of methods including archival research and expert interviews, it demonstrates how Germany has contributed to expanding the scope of EU policing and institutionalising the European Police Office Europol. Between kick-starting initial cooperation and the creation of Europol, German police and political elites pushed for a holistic European approach on internal security long before other member states. As of the 2000s, German political elites increasingly preferred cooperation of avant-garde groups of member states to deepen integration and became more hesitant in view of supranational advocacy post-Lisbon Treaty. However, the continued lobbying of police practitioners and the ‘angst’ of a wider public in the wake of terrorist attacks has ensured a quite stable German preference for a strong Europol and more integration.

Research areas involved