Tue. Nov 30th, 2021

Today, the Commission adopted two proposals to authorise EU Member States to sign and to ratify the Second Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Budapest Convention on Cybercrime.

This Protocol will improve access to electronic evidence necessary for criminal investigations and strengthen law enforcement and judicial authorities’ capacity to fight against cybercrime. It provides a basis in international law for more efficient cooperation between authorities and private sector service providers to obtain electronic evidence. It will also enhance mutual legal assistance and help in setting up joint investigation teams.

The Protocol also includes strong safeguards to protect fundamental rights, including the right to privacy and the right to the protection of personal data. This will promote the application of such safeguards as a basis for law enforcement cooperation globally.

The Commission negotiated the Protocol on behalf of the European Union. The text of the Protocol was adopted by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers on 17 November 2021, following four years of negotiations amongst the 66 State parties to the Budapest Convention. It is now for the Council of the European Union to adopt the decisions authorising EU Member States to sign and ratify the Second Additional Protocol in the interest of the European Union.

The consent of the European Parliament is required for the decision on ratification. The Council of Europe is expected to organise a signature ceremony for the Protocol in spring 2022. The Budapest Convention lies at the heart of a global alliance against cybercrime and has been signed by all EU Member States. It is the foundation for of anti-cybercrime legislation in 80% of countries worldwide.