German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc is advocating stepping up security cooperation among European Union nations to create what it calls a "European FBI."

The proposal was part of a program for the May 23-26 European Parliament elections approved Monday by Merkel's Christian Democratic Union and its Bavarian sister, the Christian Social Union. The CSU's Manfred Weber is the European center-right's candidate to be next president of the EU's executive Commission.

The program states that Europol, the Netherlands-based EU law enforcement agency, should become "a European FBI," though it also says that EU member countries should retain control of "operational police powers."

Weber pointed to Germany's own federally organized security structures as a model and said the phrase is meant to underline ambitions to strengthen security cooperation and data exchange.