CEPOL’s EU-STNA report identifies strategic training needs for European law enforcement to address Europe’s internal security threats

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CEPOL’s EU-STNA report identifies strategic training needs for European law enforcement to address Europe’s internal security threats
23 November 2018

Insufficient expertise in the areas of open source intelligence, financial investigations or e-evidence are just a few from the list of identified core capability gaps among EU’s law enforcement*, which need to be addressed by training. It would strengthen EU’s response against internal security threats, while helping to safeguard the EU values – calls the EU-STNA report of the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL) presented this week in the Council of the European Union.

The Strategic Training Needs Assessment (PDF icon EU STNA) addressed these days to both Council’s Standing Committee on Operational Cooperation on Internal Security (COSI) and to the meeting of Executive Directors of EU Justice and Home Affairs Agencies in Vilnius, also suggests such training to address deficiencies in the areas of information exchange and cross-border cooperation.

Referring to the document, Detlef Schröder, CEPOL’s Executive Director, underlines some key features an ideal EU law enforcement training shall provide:

Training is essential to allow authorities on the ground to exploit the tools in an operational situation. It needs to take into account not only recent policy developments or criminal modus operandi innovations but also a deeper insight into technology changes, especially digitalisation. Ideally, it would bring together not only law enforcement officials but also prosecution, judiciary, tax authorities or even private parties, especially from the banking or NGO sectors. That would provide an exchange of good practices on the one hand and improved convergence on the other. So, that is what we are aiming at in CEPOL.

To build an efficient and coordinated training portfolio addressing internal security threats of the EU, the report suggests performing the following actions between actors involved:

  • Improved mapping of available training initiatives
  • More detailed analysis by agencies within their planning cycles, stronger cooperation and coordination among EU level training providers;
  • Raising awareness on available training opportunities
  • Development of common standards for training on specific law enforcement work areas.

Finally, all three European Institutions with whom the findings of the EU-STNA report have been shared (European Commission, Council of the EU and the European Parliament) have been invited to provide strategic guidance and set up law enforcement training priorities for 2019-2021.

Cross-border multidisciplinary and interdepartmental cooperation and training are critical to a successful fight against serious and organised crime and terrorism.

* The core capability gaps of law enforcement officials that can and shall be addressed by training include the following cross cutting thematic categories:

  • Open Source Intelligence, data collection, analysis and application;
  • Financial investigations, money flows, alternative banking, etc.;
  • Elements of cyber-investigations, darknet and e-evidence;
  • Document fraud;
  • Fundamental and human rights;
  • Crime prevention;
  • Respective areas of forensics;
  • Links between different crime areas.

As well as information exchange and cross-border cooperation related:

  • Information exchange mechanisms, interoperability of the large scale IT systems, information exchange channels and procedures, including evidence handling, databases, Passenger Name Records (PNR), other, and with a special focus on the Schengen Information System, as well as other upcoming large scale IT systems (ETIAS and Entry-Exit System);
  • EU cooperation tools and mechanisms, including Joint Investigation Teams (JITs), the European Arrest Warrant (EAW), freezing order, etc.; and the role and possibilities of the respective EU agencies and other entities.

  • EU-STNA aims at assessing strategic training needs and address EU priorities in the area of internal security and its external aspects, intending to better coordinate training activities for law enforcement officials and avoid duplication of efforts among EU training providers (Union agencies and other relevant bodies).
  • EU-STNA is a detailed examination and identification among EU priorities in the area of internal security, of those priorities with a training dimension, and that should be tackled with training activities at the EU level.
  • EU-STNA is a strategic assessment and should form the basis for further policy development on training and coordinated training delivery in the upcoming 3 years (2019-2021).

PDF icon EU-STNA report.



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