World Border Security Congress

Álvaro Rodríguez Gaya

Álvaro Rodríguez Gaya

Head of Strategy and Outreach

European Migrant Smuggling Centre
Europol

The Netherlands

Álvaro Rodríguez Gaya is a Senior Specialist working for EUROPOL (European Police Office) where, after consolidating his position as Project Manager responsible for the anti-migrant smuggling team at Europol, he was nominated as the Head of Strategy and Outreach of the European Migrant Smuggling Centre (EMSC). He began his professional career in Law Enforcement in 2004 and he has developed several senior positions. Mr Rodríguez has been working for the Spanish Ministry of Interior as Senior Inspector at Central Units of the National Police Force being responsible for serious and organized crime transnational investigations. He also worked, during almost five years as Spanish Liaison Officer at Europol, representing Spain at transnational level, leading and coordinating operational meetings on complex organised crime cases with substantive cross border impact and stimulating appropriate action from the competent national authorities. He studied law and after graduating from university Mr Rodríguez also got a University degree in Police Sciences and performed a Master in Security.

His main occupation is the fight against Smuggling of Human Beings but Mr Rodríguez is also a regular speaker at seminars and training sessions and also enjoys lecturing in different Master studies.

Educational Background:

Law University degree
Police Sciences University degree
Master in Security
Director of Security

Professional Background:

I have over 10 years of professional experience in Law Enforcement. I have been working for the Spanish Ministry of Interior as Senior Inspector at Central Units of the National Police Force involved in serious and organized crime investigations, mainly related with migrant smuggling but also trafficking in Human beings. After developing different positions

I am representing the European Migrant Smuggling at the EMPACT (European Multidisciplinary Project against Criminal Threats), concretely acting as the EMPACT Support Manager within the Facilitation of Illegal immigration Operational Action Plan.

As Liaison Officer at Europol, representing Spain at transnational level, I have been leading and/or coordinating operational meetings on complex organised crime cases with substantive trans-national impact and stimulating appropriate action from the competent national authorities and other stakeholders. I have a profound knowledge of the EU legal framework, its security architecture, the role of Europol, its strategy and the wide range of technical and operational instruments available to carry out its legal mandate providing support to EU countries.

Project Leader of JOT MARE (Europol’s Joint Operational Team aimed to support EU MS in disrupting organized criminal groups operating within MED SEA).

– Exchanging of both, strategic and operational information between Europol and the relevant Law Enforcement Agencies in Spain.

– Providing support and advice in my area of expertise to the Spanish representatives in the different Europol fora (Management Board, Working Groups on Corporate Matters, Security Committee and relevant operational meetings).

– Contributing to the elaboration of the strategy (mission, vision, goals and objectives) and annual work programme of the International Coordination Unit of the Spanish National Police.

– Representing Spain in specific groups and/or committees covering different areas:  e.g. New EU Policy Cycle and its Strategic Priorities and Operational Action Plans.

-Giving regular presentations to national and foreign experts, Europol staff and other audiences on: the processes involved in the prosecution of serious cross-border and organised crime; specific complex investigations; EU legal framework, particularly in the JHA domain; proposals for organisational development and business improvement; the role of a Liaison Bureau within Europol; the role of a National Unit, etc.

Background information:

The EMSC objective is to become an EU Centre of expertise and EU information hotspots of criminal data on people smuggling.

EMSC is called to provide a unique and EU wide picture on the people smuggling situation within the EU and, accordingly, must deliver a defined and tuned EU Wide picture based on emerging modi operandi, nationalities of the migrants and facilitators involved in different operational cases, affected MS, migrants/smugglers’ profiles, emerging routes, other crimes committed by OCGs, and any further significant information and intelligence that have been appropriately collected and collated.

Migrant smuggling is a fluid and complex criminal phenomenon requiring a multidisciplinary and comprehensive response. The EU Action Plan against Migrant smuggling outlines the role of the EMSC as the EU Info Hub on migrant smuggling but also as EU Centre for Expertise.  On this latter point, the Strategy & Outreach Team of the EMSC aims to consistently deliver quality products and services to the law enforcement community. The Europol Monitoring Team Report (EPMT) is a clear example of the work undertaken to regularly inform law enforcement decision making at strategic level. Constant monitoring of trends, highlighting new patterns and MOs in the area together with the dissemination of actionable intelligence to the relevant EU bodies and competent authorities outlines the central role of the Strategy & Outreach Team of the EMSC.

The efforts of the EMSC are also channelled towards reaching out to key stakeholders with responsibilities in the area of countering migrant smuggling not only at EU level but also worldwide. Achieving a holistic approach in fighting migrant smuggling, but also cross cutting related criminal areas, such as trafficking in human beings, is a requirement for the EMSC and the strategic team  is intensively working with the EU Commission and EU Agencies in identifying effective forms of cooperation with third countries and relevant counterparts, such us Nigeria, Pakistan or Senegal where EU Cooperation Platforms against migrant smuggling are due to be implemented and where the EMSC can play a role.

The team proactively reaches out and co-operates with a wide range of partners including law enforcement networks, EU institutions, international organisations, private industry, the public sector, the media, academia and civil society institutions (including NGOs). Constant interaction with Eurojust and Interpol as well as the secondment of a Police Adviser for Eunavformed – Operation Sophia to the EMSC is also part of the work done by the Strategy & Outreach Team. Apart from identifying synergies between existing cooperation mechanisms and future business opportunities the team is additionally responsible for providing a ‘birds-eye’ view of criminal groups involved in migrant smuggling and human trafficking by regularly delivering Threat Assessments and Situation Reports

The team members are actively contributing to conferences, meetings, seminars as well as training and awareness sessions related to the overarching situation of facilitating illegal immigration and human trafficking.