Envisioning the future of Euro-Mediterranean police cooperation

On October 2nd, 3rd and 4th, Euromed Police held its 4th High-Level Meeting at Europol headquarters in the Hague in conjunction with the European Police Chiefs Convention. High-Level Meetings are an opportunity for South Partner Countries, EU member states and institutional stakeholders (such as the European Commission, the agencies or the Council of the EU) to convene and discuss the overall activity and main lines of the project. Around the central session, the event offered opportunities for bilateral meetings among EU and SPC delegations.

This year, the agenda reflected the current context of Euromed Police. As the project is currently nearing its end, the objectives, results and lessons of phase IV were discussed, with particular attention to the Euromed Threat Assessment, the final version of which was released in September. Participants’ views regarding the threat assessment approach, the usefulness of the report and the analysis tools of Euromed Police were collected. These topics brought about discussions regarding the future of the project beyond 2020. In the background, stakeholders want to ensure the durability of the project’s tools and mechanisms, including its analysis and capacity building networks, while successful initiatives like the EMTA and the Digital Evidence Manual will also be continued.

Whereas these tools will remain in place, the institutional leadership of the project will evolve in the transition towards the next phase. CEPOL will take up leadership of Euromed Police, taking control of and expanding the scope of the project’s various capacity-building activities. Europol will take the lead in managing the analytical work of the project, including the Euromed Threat Forum. Europol emphasized its ability to improve criminal analysis and promote cooperation with the Southern Partners, reaffirming its continued commitment to the project.

The High-Level Meeting was held in a stimulating atmosphere and the excellent level of representation echoed the crucial importance of security cooperation in the region. Participants left the Hague in anticipation of the final activities of the project before the closing ceremony in January 2020.