According to EUROPOL, the organization's mission is to support its Member States in preventing and combating all forms of serious international crime and terrorism.
Europol does not have executive powers. While Europol officials do not arrest suspects or act without the approval of national authorities, Europol does provide tools that can help relevant national authorities use their executive powers.
The EUROPOL Management Board is the agency's main governance body. It provides strategic guidance, oversees the implementation of its task and adopts the budget and programmes.
The day-to-day operations are conducted by EUROPOL's Executive Director and Deputy Directors. The Council for Ministers for Justice and Home Affairs appoint EUROPOL's Executive Director and Deputy Directors with the opinion of the Management Board.
As an EU agency, EUROPOL is accountable to the Council of Ministers for Justice and Home Affairs (Council) and to the European Parliament (EP). The Council and EP approve EUROPOL's budget.
The Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group (JPSG) is tasked with the political monitoring and examination of EUROPOL's activities.
EUROPOL is also subject to oversight from Standing Committee on Operational Cooperation on Internal Security (COSI). COSI identifies possible shortcomings or failures which may weaken the European Union.
EUROPOL also has financial oversight conducted by internal and external financial oversight agencies. These agencies include the European Court of Auditors (ECA), Internal Audit Service (IAS) and Internal Audit Capability (IAC).
The European Data Protection Supervisor provides assurance that the rights of the individual are protected by the storage, processing and use of data held by EUROPOL.
The European Obudsman is another layer of accountability for EUROPOL. The Obudsman's mission is to serve democracy by working with EU institutions to create a more effective, transparent and accountable administration.