Jointly organised by the German Police University and the Austrian Security Academy of the Federal Ministry of the Interior (.SIAK), CEPOL course 71/2011 “Language Development: Instruments and Systems of European Police Cooperation (German)” took place in Münster and Vienna on 9 – 27 May 2011. The course was aimed at enabling participants to compare and juxtapose different policing systems within the European context, to increase their knowledge of EU institutions and impart increased competencies in reading, understanding and speaking of the German and Austrian (police) terminology.
The course’s 21 participants, all having some previously acquired knowledge of German, came from France, Spain, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Italy, Hungary, Lithuania, Estonia, Bulgaria, Denmark and Slovenia.
The teaching method employed consisted of a mixture of language training in small groups, presentations about police systems and European police cooperation and excursions to demonstrate the transition from theory into practice. Udo Karls from the German Federal Criminal Police Office, amongst others, gave a presentation on international police cooperation using “skimming” as an example. Benedikt Welfens, German deputy national member at Eurojust, described the work and benefits of his agency.
A study visit to the joint German-Dutch police border team in Bad Bentheim gave all participants an insight into cross-border work. Hans-Peter Planitza, national Europol office Austria, explained the work of Europol and a representative of the Austrian Federal Asylum Office presented the participants with an insight into the Austrian asylum practice. Dr Gabriele Aicher, General State Attorney at the Austrian Supreme Court, gave an overview of Austria´s judicial system and made arrangements for the delegates to attend a court hearing. A visit to Austria’s National Bank, to the Cologne Police Headquarters as well as witnessing police operations during a football match in Bochum were among the highlights of the course.
On weekends, efforts were made to communicate Austrian and German culture and lifestyle; participants used these days to visit the Ruhr area which was the 2010 European Capital of Culture, the city of Vienna and its picturesque environment.
An initial glance at the evaluation forms completed by participants and trainers at the end of the course shows that after three weeks everyone involved felt that they: “learned a multitude of technical terms we can use for our work”, “This has considerably contributed to a better understanding of the other cultures” and “Colleagues have become friends.”