TREVI was an intergovernmental network - or forum - of national officials from ministries of justice and the interior in the European Community created during the European Council Summit in Rome, 1-2 December 1975. It ceased to exist when it was integrated in the so-called Third Pillar of the European Union by the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992.

In some French textbooks it is sometimes noted that TREVI stands for "Terrorisme, Radicalisme, Extrémisme et Violence Internationale" however this is unlikely especially since TREVI was a British initiative. The explanation of its name is more straightforward. The first TREVI meeting at the level of senior officials was held in Rome where the famous Trevi Fountain is located and the meeting was chaired by a Dutchman by the name of Fonteijn (which translates into English as fountain).

The creation of TREVI was prompted by several terrorist acts, most notably the hostage taking and consequent massacre during the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, and the inability of Interpol at that time to effectively assist the European countries in their combat against this terrorism. However, while TREVI initially was intended to coordinate effective counter-terrorism responses among European governments, it slowly extended its business to many other issues in cross-border policing between the members of the European Community. Many of the practices and a large part of the structure in contemporary Third Pillar policy-making find their origin in TREVI.

Further reading

*Anderson, M., M. den Boer, P. Cullen, W. Gilmore, C. Raab and N. Walker. (1995) "Policing the European Union. Theory Law and Practice". Oxford: Clarendon Press.
*Hebenton, B. and T. Thomas (1995) "Policing Europe. Co-operation, Conflicts and Control". New York: St. Martin’s Press Inc.
*Nilsson, H. (2004) ‘The Justice and Home Affairs Council’, in M. Westlake and D. Galloway (eds) "The Council of the European Union". London: John Harper Publishing.

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