Skip to main content


Back to Resources

Parliamentary Oversight of Security and Intelligence Agencies in The European Union

1 January, 2011



The study evaluates the oversight of national security and intelligence agencies by parliaments and specialised non-parliamentary oversight bodies, with a view to identifying good practices that can inform the European Parliament’s approach to strengthening the oversight of Europol, Eurojust, Frontex and, to a lesser extent, Sitcen. The study puts forward a series of detailed recommendations (including in the field of access to classified information) that are formulated on the basis of indepth assessments of: (1) the current functions and powers of these four bodies; (2) existing arrangements for the oversight of these bodies by the European Parliament, the Joint Supervisory Bodies and national parliaments; and (3) the legal and institutional frameworks for parliamentary and specialised oversight of security and intelligence agencies in EU Member States and other major democracies.

The DCAF-EUI study was presented by project leaders Dr. Hans Born of DCAF and Prof. Martin Scheinin of EUI to the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee of the European Parliament in Brussels on 3 October 2011.

The Executive Summary of the study has been translated into all languages of EU member states. The translations can be found at these links:

English, French, German, Bulgarian,Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish