Equipo Europa, la iniciativa de la Unión Europea fue lanzada en París
Europa and latin america / Organized crime

Launch of the Team Europe regional initiative in the justice and security areas

01 June 2022
Equipo Europa

The Team Europe initiative for Latin America was officially launched at the high-level meeting  of the criminal justice institutions of Latin America and Europe, held in Paris on 30 and 31 May, co-organised by EL PAcCTO and the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The initiative responds to the common challenges of the two continents given the high rates of violence and crime, problems that affect Latin American society and have repercussions on security in the European Union.

During the opening of the event, Mr Brian Glynn, Executive Director for the Americas of the European External Action Service, highlighted the progress made in 2020 and 2021 to encourage bi-regional relations during difficult times that gave rise to renewed interest on both sides in launching the political dialogue. “The European Union is clear about the shared interest with Latin America and the Caribbean in the areas of justice and security. We will take advantage of the great potential to establish an association that has a real impact based on current dynamics built by security programmes such as EL PAcCTO.”

The director of International Alliances for Latin America and the Caribbean at the European Commission, Jolita Butkeviciene, highlighted the importance of the high-level meeting for the European Union, which has brought together many countries. “We are united by the commitment to work together to find solutions to the problems we will face now and in the future,” he added. In addition, he insisted that the violence and criminality that Latin America faces cannot be ignored.


Three fundamental pillars of Team Europe

Javier Samper, head of the Support Unit of the Directorate-General for International Legal Cooperation and Human Rights of the Spanish Ministry of Justice, explained that the purpose of Team Europe is to consolidate the regional and bi-regional association. “EL PAcCTO 2.O and the rest of the programmes that will make up the Team Europe initiative and in which a good number of EU Member States participate will be programmes aimed at carrying out joint actions and providing joint responses”.

The coordinator of the Prison Systems component of EL PAcCTO, Giovanni Tartaglia Polcini, explained that Team Europe will work to strengthen justice and security institutions throughout the criminal system and advocated for inter-institutional coordination to achieve results. Jean-Claude Brunet, Ambassador-at-large on transnational criminal threats mentioned one of the objectives, which is to address the specific challenges of the main criminal markets of organised transnational crime in Latin America and the Caribbean.


The European Union’s Flagship Programme

Jorge de la Caballería, head of the European Union Unit Responsible for Development Coordination in Latin America and the Caribbean, mentioned EL PAcCTO as a flagship programme. “It has allowed us to exchange very good practices, but it has also generated alliances. There are not many European programmes and European cooperation initiatives that allow us to respond jointly to global challenges with such a clear impact as EL PAcCTO.”


Effective partnership between the two continents

The Europe Team in which Germany, Spain, Estonia, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Portugal participate by contributing their resources, knowledge and projects, as well as the specialised agencies EUROPOL, EUROJUST, CEPOL, FRONTEX and the EMCDDA, works to strengthen the institutions and the rule of law, regional associations, national structures and cooperation throughout the penal system in the fight against transnational organised crime, promoting citizen security and combining policies and expertise to achieve joint objectives.

The European Union will support the regional institutions of Latin America and the Caribbean to establish cooperation mechanisms and share information regarding security and justice. In addition, among other things, to consolidate the strengthening of networks and the regional structures of cooperation agencies such as AMERIPOL, CLASI, COMJIB, AIAMP, CJI, FIO, IberRED, REDCOPEN and RAP.

Operational work will be one of the priorities in the fight against organised transnational crime, creating more joint investigation teams and carrying out progressive coordination between both continents in the judicial, police and prison areas.

Latin America will receive support in addressing the specific challenges of the main criminal markets of organised crime, such as illegal drug and arms trafficking, human trafficking and environmental crimes, not to mention improving the legal framework of issues such as cybercrime and trafficking in cultural property.



The combined financial support of the European Union and the Member States for the initiative will amount to at least 144 million euros in grants. The support will also include technical assistance from EU Member States to institutions related to security and justice. As part of this package, the European Commission will make 52 million euros until 2027 available to the European Technical Assistance Program against Transnational Organised Crime in Latin America, El PAcCTO.

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