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On March 29, 2012, the European Commission proposed the establishment of a new European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) at Europol in The Hague, which will become the focal point in the EU's fight against cybercrime. The Centre became operational on January 1, 2013. It pools expertise, supports criminal investigations and promotes EU-wide solutions, while raising awareness of cybercrime issues across the EU. It serves 28 European Union (EU) member states and dozens of countries, and coordinates protection for 500 million citizens, almost three-quarters of whom have Internet access.
In addition to the analytical and operational support already provided by Europol, the European Cybercrime Centre serves as the European information hub on cybercrime. The Centre has built a new central forensic laboratory to assist member state colleagues in obtaining evidence. It distributed alerts, intelligence notifications, and threat assessments to stakeholders.