Europol names Belgian as first female head

Ms Catherine De Bolle says that the listening skills which women bring to the professional realm are particularly useful in police work.
Ms Catherine De Bolle says that the listening skills which women bring to the professional realm are particularly useful in police work.PHOTO: REUTERS

BRUSSELS • Belgium's Catherine De Bolle pledged to invest more in Europol's capacity to analyse security threats when she was named as the first woman to head the European Union police agency this week.

Ms De Bolle, commissioner general of the Belgian federal police, will assume her duties as Europol's executive director on May 1 when Briton Rob Wainwright steps down, an EU statement said.

"Europol has to invest even more in the analytical capacity," Ms De Bolle said in a video on an EU Twitter feed after being named on Thursday.

"We have to put the resources and the knowledge together to have a strategic view on the future on what are threats to the security of the European citizens."

Her job announced on International Women's Day, Ms De Bolle hailed her gender's advances in the workplace but said many women still chose family over careers.

"When I started six or seven years ago in my position as commissioner general, I thought the glass ceiling is broken now. But it wasn't true."

She said women brought the ability to be good listeners to any profession, adding it is all the more important in police work for finding out what is happening on the ground.

The European Council, which represents the 28 EU member states, appointed her to a four-year term at the head of the agency in The Hague, a term that can be renewed once. Mr Wainwright has served since 2009 as head of the 28-nation EU's police agency, which calls itself Europe's main intelligence-sharing and operational coordination centre.

Europol links more than 1,000 law enforcement agencies and supports almost 50,000 cross-border investigations each year against transnational threats from crime and terrorism.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 10, 2018, with the headline 'Europol names Belgian as first female head'. Print Edition | Subscribe