Representatives of Cepol’s National Contact Points and Europol’s National Units met on 13 April at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands. Discussions at this joint meeting centered on the question of how co-operation and co-ordination at a national level can be enhanced between the National Units at Europol and the National Contact Points of Cepol. The joint meeting was a special occasion for both directors, Mr. Wainwright of Europol and Mr. Bánfi of Cepol.
European Police College
Cepol stands for “Collège Européen de Police”, the European Police College. Cepol is an EU agency that provides training and learning opportunities to law enforcement officers on issues vital to the security of the European Union and its citizens. Training covers topics ranging from leadership to law enforcement techniques and from EU cooperation to counter terrorism and migration issues. Activities are designed to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and best practices and to contribute to the development of a common European law enforcement culture.
Europol is the European Union’s law enforcement agency whose main goal is to help achieve a safer Europe for the benefit of all EU citizens. Europol assists the European Union’s Member States in their fight against serious international crime and terrorism. For this purpose, Europol provides information exchange between the police authorities of the EU Member States and third countries with whom an operational agreement has been concluded.
National Contact Points – National Units
The National Contact Points (NCPs) are the points of contact for Cepol in each EU Member State, but also in associated countries. NCPs are critical to Cepol’s success, in terms of implementing training activities and in facilitating the participation of law enforcement officers in such training. Regarding Europol, each of the 28 EU Member States has set up a Europol National Unit (ENU) in their respective countries. The other non-EU partner countries such as Australia, Canada, the USA and Norway, have created a Europol National Contact Point (Europol NCP).
Cooperation in training and sharing knowledge
A number of training courses offered by Cepol are carried out jointly by Europol and Cepol. By sharing training and knowledge at an international level, the quality of law enforcement investigations can be improved. Through the exchange of best practice and expertise, this joint meeting helped further improve the existing co-operation.
The Netherlands and the EU Presidency
During this first half of 2016, the Netherlands holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union. This means that the Netherlands holds this year the presidency of the Cepol Governing Board and Europol’s Management Board. Consequently, Ms. Sandra Wijkhuijs, Cepol NCP, and Mr. David Allen, chair of the HENU, have chaired together the joint NCP and HENU meeting.