The 7th CEPOL seminar for SIRENE Officers was held in Samorin, 20 kilometers from Bratislava in Slovakia on 11-15 April 2011. The seminar dealt with the basics of working in a SIRENE Bureau based on procedures and practices described in the SIRENE Manual and the ”Schengen Catalogue - Best Practices”.
Thirty nine participants from 24 Member States including delegates from Associated Countries Norway and Switzerland took part in the seminar. Prior to the seminar participants were invited to log into CEPOL’s e-Net in order to carefully study pre-course material.
The seminar’s teaching method included lectures and group assignments in four specific areas, namely:
- Procedures involving articles 95 “Multiple Alerts” and 98 “Flagging” of the Convention Implementing the Schengen Agreement (CISA) led by Giuseppe Segnin, Italian SIRENE Bureau.
- Procedures involving CISA articles 96 “Misused Identity” and articles 109 and 110 covering “Right of Access” led by Veronika Turakova, Slovakian SIRENE Bureau.
- Procedures involving CISA articles 97 and 99 covering “Flagging” led by Dangis Krisciunas, Lithuanian SIRENE Bureau.
- Procedures involving article 100 “Schengen Police Cooperation within the Legal Competences of the SIRENE Bureau” led by Lukasz Wilinski, Polish SIRENE Bureau.
Presentations covered both theoretical and practical matters. Particular cases demonstrating information exchange via forms, issue solving and correct/incorrect procedures were presented. Participants took an active part in the workshops presenting their national solutions and procedures highlighting similarities as well as differences. All delegates discussed particular issues and responsibilities of the SIRENE Bureau in rapport to national and international proceedings.
Information on the Schengen Convention, entering and querying alerts in the Schengen Information System (SIS), post-hit procedures, use of forms, consultation procedures, misused identities and other relevant legal acts was given and shared during the seminar. In short: 360° of the role of SIRENE Bureau operators were covered during the seminar.
Bearing in mind that some seminar participants were from not-operational countries and that, on the other hand, some participants were much more experienced, information was presented not only at an elementary level involving the basic procedures but also from a more advanced point of view involving some detailed aspects.
Overall the outcome of the seminar was very positive. The collaborative atmosphere that surrounded the seminar, much helped by the support from the Slovakian CEPOL Team, created an ideal environment for learning, sharing and networking.
One quote from the post course evaluation forms really summed up the general feeling:
“This kind of seminar should be more frequent!”