The CEPOL conference “European Dimension - Enhancing Europe in Police Training” took place in Saint-Cyr-au-Mont-d’Or on 6-8 October 2008, hosted by the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Police. Organised by Jean-Marie Fiquet and his team, the conference attracted participants from all parts of Europe involved in the design of training and education for senior police officers and those with practical experience in European police cooperation at a senior level.
The aim of the conference was to contribute to a vision and proposals for the reinforcement of the European Dimension within CEPOL’s police training activities. Other international organisations, such as Frontex and Interpol, were also represented.
The conference was opened by Philippe Joubert, Director of the ENSP, who expressed his appreciation for the cooperation of members of the network, Member States and the CEPOL structure having led to this conference.
Jean-Marc Milliot, the representative of the French Presidency emphasised the importance of the European Dimension in CEPOL’s activities. He stated that CEPOL is an answer to the challenges police in Europe is confronted with. He stressed the importance of keeping an open mind about Europe, in particular for three elements which should be at the centre of police training in Europe: European issues, ethical standards and language training.
The Chair of the CEPOL Training and Research Committee, Salvatore Siena, expressed his pleasure to organise a conference to find a definition of the concept of the European Dimension which is essential for the sake of fulfilment of the Council Decision establishing CEPOL.
During the conference, the participants worked in four working group sessions to find answers to the questions how to define and reinforce the European Dimension in CEPOL’s police training activities and what kind of support from CEPOL the Member States would find useful in their efforts to make their training activities truly European.
Apart from their own reflections and experiences, participants could draw from presentations given by Nathalie Pensaert from the Council Secretariat and Professor Ernesto Savona from Italy.
Nathalie Pensaert gave an impression of the difficulties in attempting to achieve such a European Dimension by describing her experiences in trying to make an overall view of tools and documents that are useful for policing in the whole of the European Union. For the work during the conference, she recommended that participants follow a multi-disciplinary approach and to remain open-minded.
In his presentation titled “The European Dimension of Police Training”, Professor Ernesto Savona addressed some key points, including the importance of managing similarities and differences in a changing Europe and of developing common standards of professionalism and ethics. He stressed that, because police structures will probably always be different, the need was to focus on cross-border policing as it is not only the present, but likely to be the future of European policing.
The outcome of the participants’ group work took a similar direction. The conclusions entailed concrete proposals which will support the National Contact Points and Course Organisers in their work. A report will be compiled and the proposals presented to the relevant CEPOL Committees and Governing Board.