Today the European Commission has proposed to boost CEPOL's role as the European Agency for Law Enforcement training, by providing better and more effective tools to train EU law enforcement officials.
Over the last decade, organised crime networks have become more complex, diverse and internationally spread than ever before. Transnational crime can only be countered by cross-border cooperation, with police, customs, border guards and other authorities working together. Unless these authorities are properly trained, and unless there is sufficient mutual trust, such cooperation will not be effective. The aim of the proposal is to guarantee that CEPOL can adapt its training to this ever-evolving environment, making available for example, training tools and initiatives in areas such as fighting cybercrime, trafficking in drugs and trafficking in human beings.
"Training law enforcement officers is of key importance for operational cooperation and for building mutual trust. Our proposal will ensure that the new CEPOL is in a position to better support police and other law enforcement personnel in their daily tasks, help improve their skills and be more effective on the ground", said EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström.
Concretely, the Commission's Regulation proposes the following:
Broaden the scope of CEPOL’s mandate so that it can support, develop, deliver and coordinate learning activities for law enforcement officials of all ranks, as well as customs officers and other authorities dealing with cross-border crime;
Focus CEPOL's work more firmly on those crimes which cause the most harm to citizens and which need cross-border cooperation the most (in line with priorities for operational law enforcement cooperation agreed at EU-level);
Update and clarify CEPOL's objectives, to encourage the development of regional and bilateral cooperation among the Member States; and
Task CEPOL to develop and regularly update learning tools and methodologies to strengthen the skills of law enforcement officers in a lifelong learning perspective.
Today's proposal for a Regulation establishing a European Union Agency for law Enforcement training gives CEPOL the appropriate legal mandate and the necessary resources to implement the EU Law Enforcement Training Scheme which the Commission proposed in March 2013.
The proposal is in line with the decision taken recently by the European Parliament and the Council to move CEPOL to Budapest. The Bramshill site in the United Kingdom - where CEPOL is currently located - is due to be closed in September 2014.
Next steps: Once adopted by the European Parliament and the Council, the new Regulation will repeal and replace Council decision 2005/681/JHA which established CEPOL as an EU agency.
The United Kingdom and Ireland may take part in the adoption and application of the proposed Regulation by notifying the Council in writing that they wish to do so (within three months after the proposed Regulation has been presented to the Council). Denmark does not take part in measures pursuant to Title V of Part Three of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), such as the proposed Regulation.