Atlas Network
The Atlas Network is an association consisting of the special police units of the 27 states of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

. The goal of Atlas is to improve cooperation among the police units and to enhance skills by training with the other units.
The name Atlas is a reference to Atlas
Atlas (mythology)
In Greek mythology, Atlas was the primordial Titan who supported the heavens. Although associated with various places, he became commonly identified with the Atlas Mountains in north-west Africa...

 from the Greek mythology.


In 1996 the Council of the European Union
Council of the European Union
The Council of the European Union is the institution in the legislature of the European Union representing the executives of member states, the other legislative body being the European Parliament. The Council is composed of twenty-seven national ministers...

 decided to establish a network which would increase skills, knowledge and expertise about counter-terrorism among the law enforcement agencies of the member states of the European Union.
After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 the Atlas Network was formed in order to prevent similar attacks in Germany.

Sharing of expertise

On a regular basis meetings and joint exercises are conducted among the units.

Five project teams were created which consisted of special police units of five member states which specialized in certain areas.
  • The German GSG 9
    GSG 9
    The GSG 9 der Bundespolizei , is the elite counter-terrorism and special operations unit of the German Federal Police.-History and name:...

     for maritime actions
  • The French GIGN airplane raids
  • The French RAID
    Recherche Assistance Intervention Dissuasion
    Recherche Assistance Intervention Dissuasion or RAID is, like the GIPN, a Special Operations tactical unit of the National Police with more manpower and equipment...

     raids of trains and busses
  • The Austrian EKO Cobra
    EKO Cobra
    EKO Cobra is Austria's foremost counter-terrorism special operations tactical unit. It is not part of the Austrian Federal Police but is directly under the control of the Austrian Federal Ministry for the Interior.-History:...

     actions in buildings
  • The British CO19
    Specialist Firearms Command
    Central Operations Specialist Firearms Command is a Central Operations branch within Greater London's Metropolitan Police Service. The Command is responsible for providing a firearms-response capability, assisting the rest of the service, which is normally unarmed...

    on raids in subways
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