On 8-12 November 2010 the Police Training Centre in Vienna hosted the 5th seminar for SIRENE Operators within the CEPOL framework. Continuing on from previous seminars in Lyon (FR) and Maribor (SI), this seminar attracted 35 participants from 22 Member States and CEPOL Associated Countries Norway and Switzerland.
CEPOL, aware that Bulgaria and Romania join Schengen in 2011, organised these seminars to allow officers from across Europe to be trained in cooperation and exchange of data in the increasing Schengen Area.
After the welcome speech given by Gerhard Haberler, representative of the Austrian CEPOL team and of the hosting institute, Andreas Wagner, Austrian Schengen content expert, introduced the history of Schengen followed by the development of the Schengen Legal Base and the Schengen Information System.
Split into four groups, led by experts form Austria, Hungary, Slovenia and Spain, the participants then concentrated their efforts on the following articles of the SIRENE Manual in order to get to grips with some of the more complex aspects of procedures and best practices:
- Article 95 SIC – Arrest and extradition procedures on wanted persons;
- Article 96 and 109 SIC – Residence ban and data protection;
- Article 97, 98 and 99 SIC – Establishing whereabouts and discreet surveillance;
- Article 100 SIC – Lost and stolen objects.
Marius Daniel Constantin, Romanian SIRENE Operator, attending a CEPOL SIRENE seminar for the first time, said: “I would like to emphasise that I am very glad to see that all tasks implemented in our offices are very similar to those implemented in the other operational Member States. The seminar was very useful for me and the others, because we got to see how procedures are applied. Now I can connect theory to practice. My experience was enriched by the know-how of other SIRENE Operators.”
Dr Edmond Gégény, SIRENE Bureau Hungary, stated: “The organisers created a good atmosphere and good learning environment for the participants. It was also very important professionally for the trainers to acquaint themselves with the different approaches taken in the Member States. Being able to enlarge our network and working relationships is always an advantage.”
On the last day of the seminar, an excursion to the Austrian SIRENE Office was organised where the participants were given the possibility to see how the information system is used by Austrian colleagues. Participants also had the possibility to reflect on and discuss with the officers on duty their experiences and problems in their daily work.
The next “Training for SIRENE Officer (Basic)” seminar is planned for the second quarter of 2011 in Slovakia.