THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The commissioner general of the Belgian Federal Police has been appointed as the new executive director of European Union law enforcement agency Europol.

Catherine De Bolle was appointed Thursday, which is International Women's Day, by the European Council. She replaces Briton Rob Wainwright, whose term at the head of Europol expires May 1.

With a staff of more than 1,000, Europol coordinates and supports police operations throughout EU nations, using experts based at its headquarters in The Hague to help tackle cross-border crime such as terrorism, people smuggling and cybercrime.