The value of communication in crisis incidents

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12 January 2022
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ESKEDIK and CEPOL National Unit, Greece

CEPOL Activity 81/2021 “Crisis Hostage Negotiation and Crisis Communication” took place from 14-17 December 2021, in Athens, Greece. The activity was organised due to the increased interest among EU Member States in the constantly expanding security fields of crisis management and crisis/hostage negotiations.

The activity was organised by the Joint Coordination Centre for Operations & Crisis Management (ESKEDIK) of the Hellenic Police, with the cooperation of the Hellenic CEPOL Unit. Experts from the hosting country, Europol, Cyprus, France and the United Kingdom, contributed to the organisation of this CEPOL training activity.

22 participants, from 17 EU Member States, the Republic of North Macedonia, as well as from FRONTEX, attended the event. The participants were actively engaged throughout the entire duration of the activity, especially by bringing in their respective national and international approaches and experiences regarding negotiations, transferring knowledge, identifying gaps and limitations, and exchanging best practices.

This training was implemented applying a blended learning approach. CEPOL’s LEEd platform was used to upload pre-activity study material that included, inter alia, a recorded webinar (adhoc 19/2019 “Basic Negotiation Techniques and Crisis Communication”) linked to the activity’s curriculum. Participants were required to study the uploaded material to acquire the same entry level and save valuable classroom time for more practical aspects of the training.

The Chief of the Hellenic Police, Police Lieutenant General, Mr. Michail KARAMANLAKIS, highlighted in his closing speech:

“The challenges we are facing, as well as the ever-changing national, European and international security environment, imposes, inter alia, the development of collaborations between countries, but also the full activation of certified negotiators, so that in an event of a critical incident, which may extend beyond the borders of a single country, the appropriate response speed and efficiency, always guided by the principle of interoperability, is ensured”.

The participants valued and appreciated the organisation and implementation of this activity, as well as the added value brought forward by the experts and the organising team.

Mr. Juraj SKYBA, a participant from Slovakia, valued the logistics, the participants’ support as well as the readiness of the premises and technical matters necessary for the smooth running of the course. From a pedagogical point of view, he appreciated “the opportunity to see and get to know a number of experienced negotiators who were more than willing to share their experiences and knowledge. This course has been a great asset to my professional career and I hope that sometime in the future I will be able to take part in a course on this topic so that I can broaden my horizons and be able to implement these acquired experiences in the conditions of our country”, he added.

Mr. Pascal SZKUDLARA , expert from France, expressed his appreciation to the Greek partner for the quality of their welcome and their hospitality. “The organisation was very good, and participants were able to engage in various interesting practical exercises under the supervision of experts. The team of Greek negotiators who constitute the backbone of experts invited to this course is of a very high level with exceptional competency and pedagogics and extensive experience in the field.

Mr. Ahmed Said Ali ABOUZAID, expert from the United Kingdom, stressed he had

“the privilege of spending time at this CEPOL event with some of the best negotiators in the world”.

This event was the result of a joint effort between ESKEDIK and the Hellenic Police Academy, who cooperated in organising the administrative and logistics aspects of the training activity.

About ESKEDIK

The Joint Coordination Centre for Operations & Crisis Management (ESKEDIK) of the Hellenic Police is responsible for handling major crisis incidents in Greece; for conducting and evaluating training exercises; and for the Crisis Negotiators Unit, having a dedicated training team, which has spread its knowledge over many countries in the Balkans.


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