Italy hosted for the third year running the CEPOL course “Senior Police Officer Planning and Command Course for Crisis Management Missions” (SPOPCOP) from the 14th of October to the 1st of November 2013. The training activity was organized by the Italian CEPOL Unit and the Carabinieri Centre of Excellence for Stability Police Units (COESPU), with support from France and the cooperation of the European External Action Service (EEAS). 26 senior police officers from 22 EU Member States and Norway attended this three-week course. The programme was divided into six modules, dealing with a general introduction to EU crisis management, cooperation and coordination between the different involved actors, strategic and operational planning of EU missions, leadership, communication and project management.
In particular, among all the topics delivered, two were of great interest to the participants: the external dimensions of the internal security strategy and the implementation of human rights, both for the police officers involved in the missions and for the third countries where the missions have been or will be established. Many questions were put on the floor. How does the EEAS fulfil its tasks? Which are the decision-making parameters? What about the limits of the missions? A special attention was dedicated to the mandate of the missions - contributing to the establishment of sustainable and effective civilian policing arrangements under the third countries ownership and in accordance with international standards - and to the missions’ tasks - monitor, mentor, advise and train in close coordination with the local forces.
The last two days of the training activity were dedicated to a Command Post Exercise (CPX). Participants put into practice their managerial skills for a mission to be developed in an hypothetical “Island of Centria”. The course was hosted in the Italian city of Vicenza, but participants were asked to try some different scenarios - i.e. the maritime one - in Venetia, and also they had the opportunity to visit this amazing city.
During the closing ceremony, the organisation provided by COESPU and Colonel Renato Raggi, who in his capacity as course manager coordinated the wealth of talent and professionalism of the various international organizations involved in the course, was fully praised.