Euromed Police took part in the latest meeting of the Standing Committee on Operational Cooperation on Internal Security (COSI), held at the Council of the European Union in Brussels on May 14 2019. The part of the meeting that the Project attended focused on the EU Policy Cycle to tackle organized and serious international crime, and on the European multidisciplinary platform against criminal threats (EMPACT). In this context, Euromed Police had the opportunity to present the outcomes of the project but also the main links it has with the EU Policy Cycle.
The EU Policy Cycle is a four-year policy-making process aiming at creating a greater measure of continuity for the fight against serious international organized crime. The criminal threats are identified on the basis of criminal intelligence and then agreed at political level. During the cycle, all concerned services and stakeholders at national and EU level are involved to 1) identify the priorities, 2) define the action plans, 3) implement coordinated measures and 4) review and assess the policies implemented.
As depicted in the Treaty for the Functioning of the European Union, the COSI is meant to promote, reinforce and facilitate the operational actions of the EU Member States concerning internal security. It was in front of the representatives of the Member States’ police forces and in the presence of the European Commission that Euromed Police had the opportunity to share with the participants the results of the activities organized by the project.
With no fewer than 25 meetings and workshops, which gathered more than 360 police officers from the South Partner Countries all around the Mediterranean, Euromed Police was able to reinforce cooperation and trust among the Euromed police forces.
In the framework of the COSI meeting, several delegations stressed the usefulness of the project. Euromed Police also presented the result of its activities in the field of terrorism, among which the Euromed Digital Evidence Manual, elaborated together with the Euromed Justice project, which constitutes one of the flagship products of the fourth phase of Euromed Police. The Manual will facilitate the requests of police officers to Internet service providers for investigations related to terrorism and be regularly updated to accommodate with the changing cyber environment. Moreover, one of the main achievements of the Euromed Police Project presented during the COSI meeting was the EuroMed Threat Assessment (EMTA) which is soon to be published. The EMTA will be used to give to our Partner countries a vision of the threat in their own territory with a broader regional outlook, allowing them to develop intelligence-led security policies. It will also provide a promising basis for operational cooperation with the EU member states’ police forces through the EMPACT networks.
Although it is clear that the EMPACT projects have been of much greater use in the latest years according to the participants in the COSI meeting, it was concluded that some improvements should be made in order to reinforce the fight against organized and international crime. It has been said that a greater implication of third countries in these programs was extremely important.
As the fourth phase of the Euromed Police Project is coming to an end in 2020, four years after its launch, Euromed Police should continue its efforts to reinforce the involvement of our partners from the Southern Mediterranean in police cooperation with the European Union and its Member States.