PRESS RELEASE

First International Conference on the Protection of the Euro against Counterfeiting: The euro is in safe hands

16 May 2007

The Hague, The Netherlands

During the 1st International Conference on the Protection of the Euro against Counterfeiting organised by Europol in collaboration with the European Central Bank, which took place in The Hague, The Netherlands on 15 and 16 May 2007, it was clearly stated that the euro is well protected. However, procedures such as the further development and improvement of the cooperation amongst the law enforcement and banking authorities are crucial to ensure the future security and stability of the euro currency. Now, in its sixth year since introduction, the euro is recognised as a global tender. About 300 participants representing 53 countries and international bodies confirmed the need and requirement to expand cooperation and information exchange networks beyond the European Union.

The Director of Europol, Mr. Max-Peter Ratzel, confirmed the existing fruitful cooperation between Europol and its partners, mainly within the European Union who contributed substantially to the protection of the euro against counterfeiting. He also encouraged the law enforcement and banking authorities which deal with the protection of the euro, both on European and international level, to make the most of Europol’s central office function in order to ensure the security and stability of the euro.

Prof. José Manuel González-Páramo, Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank, pointed out that euro banknotes are well protected against illegal reproduction and by effective legislation and enforcement against counterfeiting. He paid tribute to the role of Europol in the bringing to justice of counterfeiters, and he urged the general public to continue to play its part in the fight against counterfeiting by taking an interest in their money and being alert to the possibility of fraud.

On 12 July 2005, a Council Decision designated Europol as the Central Office of the European Union for combating euro counterfeiting in terms of Articles 12 to 15 of the International Convention for the Suppression of Counterfeiting Currency (also known as the Geneva Convention from 1929). Within its role and legal framework Europol facilitates the exchange of information, provides criminal and forensic analysis, training, as well as financial and technical support. Europol cooperates closely with the National Central Offices of the European Union Member States, the European Central Bank, the European Commission (OLAF) and ICPO-Interpol to combat threats arising from euro counterfeiting and to enhance and coordinate intelligence, analysis and training in this field of organised crime. Europol has in the past successfully participated in various operations which let to the dismantling of clandestine print shops and seizures of high amounts of counterfeit euro banknotes and specialists regularly deliver training courses.

Media contacts