EU Strategic Training Needs Assessment

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What is the EU Strategic Training Needs Assessment (EU-STNA)?

EU level training* that is qualitative and evidence based facilitates the work of law enforcement officials in addressing crime threats that affect the European Union.

The EU-STNA aims at identifying those EU level training priorities in the area of internal security and its external aspects to help build the capacity of law enforcement officials, while seeking to avoid duplication of efforts and achieve better coordination.

It is a collective, EU-wide effort that requires participation from all stakeholders, so that training providers can deliver better, more targeted training to the European law enforcement community on the top priority topics!

EU-STNA Report findings in a nutshell

Core capability gaps in law enforcement training:

  • Cyber-investigations
  • Open source intelligence
  • Financial investigations
  • Fundamental and human rights
  • Crime prevention and forensics
  • Links between crime areas
  • Document fraud
  • Information exchange and EU cooperation tools

21 thematic training categories prioritised by EU Member States:

1. Facilitation of illegal immigration 12. Drugs – Production, Trafficking and Distribution of Cannabis, Cocaine, Heroin
2. Counter-terrorism 13. Border Management and Maritime Security
3. Trafficking in Human Beings 14. Crime Prevention
4. Cyber-crime – Child Sexual Abuse and Sexual Exploitation 15. Forensics
5. Criminal Finances and Money Laundering 16. Corruption
6. Cyber-crime – Attacks on Information Systems 17. Missing Trader Intra-Community Fraud
7. Illicit Trafficking, Distribution and Use of Firearms and Explosives 18. Environmental Crime
8. Organised Property Crime 19. Excise Fraud
9. Drugs – Production, Trafficking and Distribution of New Psychoactive Substances and Synthetic Drugs 20. Fundamental Rights
10. Cyber-crime – Non-cash Payment Fraud 21. CSDP Missions
11. Document Fraud

Eager to learn more?

Read the EU-STNA Report here or check the leaflet.

EU STNA REPORT 2018-2019

Download the EU-STNA Fact-sheet here.

How was EU-STNA carried out?

The pilot EU-STNA has been launched by the presentation of the CEPOL Acting Executive Director to the Standing Committee on Operational Cooperation on Internal Security (COSI) on 25 September 2017.

The methodology behind the EU-STNA process was developed with the support of the European Commission and in close cooperation with the Member States and the key stakeholders like Europol and Frontex.

EU-STNA consists in step-by-step analysis of strategic level EU documents detailing crime threats that were then discussed in expert and focus groups by Member State and EU specialists with a view to extract capability gaps and training needs that should be addressed by training implemented at EU level.

After a thorough analysis of more than 130 policy documents, the first step of the EU-STNA (desk research – mapping and analysing policy documents) has been completed by CEPOL in December 2017.

During January-May 2018, CEPOL was running EU-STNA consultations with the Member States’ and EU law enforcement experts and professionals in order to identify what are the main challenges which law enforcement officials are facing countering cross-border criminality and whether these can be supported by training. Through the discussions based on the professional experience, law enforcement officials were identifying which areas should be addressed by the EU level training.

In total, 21 thematic groups have been consulted and discussion outcomes consolidated.

Further, the identified 184 EU level training needs in 21 thematic categories have been prioritised by the Member States and shared with the JHA agencies, EJTN, ESDC, EUCPN and EUIPO for their opinion on prioritisation and potential training coordination.

At the end of the analysis phase, an EU-STNA Report was drawn up by CEPOL and presented to the Council of the EU for endorsement, and to the European Parliament for information. The EU-STNA Report was be presented to the Standing Committee on Operational Cooperation on Internal Security (COSI) of the Council of the European Union on 22 November 2018. The presentation at the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs took place on 25 February 2019.

The EU-STNA shall result in a split of tasks among EU level training providers, and shall inform and facilitate planning.

Each EU-STNA cycle shall cover a four-year period. In 2020 CEPOL will evaluate the impact/progress.

EU-STNA Methodology

Who does what?

Member States are crucial in the EU-STNA process, as their experts assessed capability challenges in law enforcement and corresponding training needs, and their policy makers prioritised those EU training needs.

The Council of the European Union together with the European Parliament are the main addressee of the EU-STNA Report, which provides background for law enforcement training policy development for the upcoming years.

The European Commission (DG HOME) has a key validation, liaison and consultative functions during the EU-STNA process.

Justice and Home Affairs agencies were invited to share their flagship and analytical products for desk research, participate in the expert groups, provide their opinion on the training needs prioritisation and identify potential training organisers.

EU law enforcement training providers are invited to take a closer look at the EU-STNA Report and align their offer to fill in the capability gaps identified.

CEPOL is the implementing agency of the EU-STNA: its role is to manage an inclusive and consultative EU-STNA process and deliver the EU-STNA Report for approval by the Council of the European Union.

Who we are?

CEPOL, the EU Agency for Law Enforcement Training is dedicated to develop, implement and coordinate training for law enforcement officials. CEPOL runs, organises and finances (in-line with the applicable CEPOL financial regulation) all steps of the EU-STNA.

For more information contact the EU-STNA team at

*EU level training activities refer to strands 3 and 4 of the Law Enforcement Training Scheme as identified in Commission Communication COM (2013)172, and namely 1) thematic policing specialism and 2) European Union civilian missions and capacity building in third countries. STNA will only look at EU level priorities, as national training and bilateral/regional training cooperation remains outside of the scope of the exercise.


Office address

European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training
1066 Budapest
Ó utca 27

Correspondence address

European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training
1903 Budapest

Email address

Telephone: +36 1 803 8030/8031

Fax: +36 1 803 8032