Parliamentary question by Maurizio Turco (NI) and Marco Cappato (NI) to the Commission and answer given by Mr Vitorino on behalf of the Commission




Parliamentary questions
WRITTEN QUESTION E-1179/03
by Maurizio Turco (NI) and Marco Cappato (NI) to the Commission
(20 March 2003)

Subject: Operating systems, software and programming and development environments used for the operation of the systems used by Europol


1. What are the operating systems, software and programming and development environments used for the operation of the systems used by Europol?

2. What legal rules on intellectual property apply to these IT programmes?

3. Does the European Union have the right to check the source codes of all software infrastructures, and have such checks actually been carried out to ascertain that the systems are not defective, do not generate errors (with particular reference to mistaken identity) and do not have security failings which could jeopardise Europol's objectives?

E-1179/03EN
Answer given by Mr Vitorino
on behalf of the Commission
(21 May 2003)


According to Article 29 of the Europol Convention, the day-to-day management of Europol is the responsibility of the Europol Director. This includes the monitoring of the adequate processing of data by Europol.

Pursuant to Article 24 of the Convention the responsibility for monitoring the adequacy of data processing lies with the Joint Supervisory Body (JSB). The task of the JSB is in particular to ensure that the rights of individuals are not violated by the storage, processing and utilisation of the data held by Europol. If the JSB notes any violations of the provisions of the Europol Convention, it shall make any complaints it deems necessary to the Director of Europol. The Director shall keep the Management Board, in which all the Member States and the Commission are represented, informed of the entire procedure. In the event of any difficulty, the JSB shall refer the matter to the Management Board.

The Commission has no responsibility for the development or administration of Europol operating systems or other software used at Europol and does not have any access to their Information Technology (IT) systems. The Commission, which attends the Management Board of Europol in an observer capacity, is not aware of any reported complaints of the JSB on this issue.

Information on contractual obligations on intellectual property applying to the Europol systems should be requested by the Honourable Members to Europol.