PRESS RELEASE

Signing of the agreement between the European Central Bank and Europol

13 December 2001

The President of the European Central Bank (ECB), Dr. Willem F. Duisenberg, and the Director of Europol, Mr. Jürgen Storbeck, have signed an agreement aimed at ensuring effective co-operation between both parties in the protection of the euro and the fight against counterfeiting.

This co-operation will involve regular consultations and a close co-ordination of policies and training activities as well as public information and publications relating to the counterfeiting of the euro.

The agreement also covers the exchange of the information each of the parties needs to fulfil its anti-counterfeiting duties. In particular, Europol will participate in the Counterfeit Monitoring System (CMS) which is being established by the ECB, as referred to in the Decision of the European Central Bank of 8 November 2001 on certain conditions regarding access to the CMS.

That decision sets forth the legal framework for access to the CMS of all the competent national authorities of the 15 Member States and of the European authorities.

In addition to the exchange of information between the parties, the agreement provides for the co-ordination of any technical expertise and/or evidence they furnish in connection with judicial proceedings relating to counterfeiting of the euro.

The ECB deems the present agreement to be an important step forward in the fight against counterfeiting of the euro.

[Introductory statement by Dr. Willem F. Duisenberg]

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