A total of twenty seven participants (from 18 EU Member States, Norway plus participants from eu-LISA) attended CEPOL course 48/2014 - Schengen Evaluation - held in Bratislava, Slovakia on 8 - 13 June 2014. The aims of the course, in cooperation with eu-LISA and the European Commission, were to:
- Contribute to the quality of the Schengen Evaluation Mechanism in line with the new regulation (EU Council Regulation No. 1053/2013 of 7 October 2013);
- Improve the capacities and capabilities of experts from Schengen Member States in the field of Police Cooperation;
- Evaluate SIS/SIRENE with regards to the role of leading experts.
On day one, Patricie Aso from the European Commission, explained the new Schengen Evaluation Mechanism, this provided a solid basis and clear guidance on the course direction. eu-LISA gave an explanation on creating and using statistics on SIS II, and the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) introduced itself as an integral part of the new evaluation and monitoring mechanism.
The remainder of the course focused on methodology and preparation for the practical element (simulation of evaluation) with regards to drafting reports on the evaluated MS and on conflict management. Examples were given of how to deal with difficult situations to which the evaluation teams, leading experts or evaluated country might face.
Katarína Keratová, the Director of Department for Coordination of Schengen matters from the Presidium of the Police Force in Slovakia encouraged participants to consider that 2014 is a challenging period for all key players involved in the development of a new Schengen evaluation and monitoring mechanism and that interactive training may be beneficial for both, future Schengen evaluators and for the current creators of the mechanism.
The course was organised by Slovakia with support from Austria, Norway, European Commission, Council Secretariat of the EU, eu-LISA and FRA. One course participant commented, “Good balanced topics, a lot of time provided for practical training, good simulation of visits and drafting - Very beneficial to have such experienced trainers”.