Europol is the European Union’s law enforcement agency. It is engaged with the responses to various security issues across the EU – including terrorist use of the internet – and also works with third countries and  international organizations such as NATO. Europol’s mandate was established by EU Regulation 2016/794. The organization’s objectives are set out in Article 3 of the Regulation and are focused on the support offered by the Agency to Member States to fight serious crime and terrorism. In order to achieve those objectives, Europol is authorized to perform tasks listed under Art. 4 of the same Regulation. In particular, under Art. 4 (1)(m) Europol is expected to “support Member States’ actions in preventing and combating forms of crime listed in Annex I which are facilitated, promoted or committed using the internet, including, in cooperation with Member States, the making of referrals of internet content, by which such forms of crime are facilitated, promoted or committed, to the online service providers concerned for their voluntary consideration of the compatibility of the referred internet content with their own terms and conditions.”


Regulation 2016/794 of 11 May 2016 on the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement

This Regulation establishes the objectives and tasks of Europol. Article 3 indicates that the Agency is committed to cooperate with Member States in order to combat serious crime and terrorism.

European Union Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (2018)

The report provides an updated overview of the nature and volume of terrorist incidents faced by the EU in 2017.

Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA), EUROPOL, (2018)

The report includes a section on the convergence of cyber and terrorism, and provides recommendations for minimizing the impact of online terrorist propaganda. 


European Counter Terrorism Centre

The ECTC is tasked with sharing intelligence with EU countries to track the movement of terrorists. Additionally, it works to prevent terrorism financing.

European Union Internet Referral Unit (EU IRU)

The EU Internet Referral Unit (EU IRU) detects and investigates illicit content on the internet.


Europol, 2018. EU Internet Referral Unit – EU IRU. Europol.