CEPOL Executive Director participates at EU Anti-Racism Summit

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19 March 2021

The Executive Director of CEPOL, Dr. h.c. Detlef Schröder participated this morning at the high level European Anti-Racism Summit, co-hosted by the European Commission and the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, in cooperation with the Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup of the European Parliament. The Summit focused on the implementation of the European Anti-Racism Action Plan at various levels, with the involvement of EU Institutions, Member States, civil society, equality bodies and grassroots organisations.

Taking the floor at the High Level Panel discussion: Tackling racism and racial discrimination through legislation, the Executive Director of CEPOL explained how expressions of racism within the European law enforcement services can be prevented by successful education and training. While underlining the role of CEPOL and its commitment to support a Union of Equality by ensuring that fundamental rights are a cross-cutting priority in all activities the agency’s training portfolio, he noted:

To transform even the best anti-racism legislation into practise requires services to ensure the enforcement of these laws and the protection of the vulnerable groups. Law enforcement services in the European Member States need to play an important role to protect all groups and individuals who might be victims of racism. We need to make every possible effort to stop racism in law enforcement, and a key perspective is to ensure the best possible education and training of the officers.

CEPOL training activities on hate crime always take into account the topic of racism, as it often leads to expressions of hatred and discrimination. The CEPOL training portfolio for 2021, in particular, includes onsite training activities on Hate Crime and Victim Protection, as well as webinars on Anti-Semitism, Anti-Muslim Hatred, and Hate Crime Recording; in addition, CEPOL offers an Online Module on Hate Crime and will soon add an e-Lesson on Anti-Muslim Hatred (under preparation).

In the light of the decision to reinforce its training efforts in the area of Fundamental Rights, CEPOL is establishing a dedicated expert group to foster inclusion of fundamental rights topics in its training activities and to propose improvement for CEPOL’s Fundamental Rights training strategy. Experts from the Member States, the Commission and partner JHA Agencies (EIGE, Europol, FRA) will participate in this group to address, amongst other topics, training on hate crime, racism and discrimination.

In 2021, CEPOL is also conducting a new EU Strategic Training Needs Assessment (EU STNA 2022-2025). The desk research, which is expected to be completed by the end of March 2021, includes Fundamental Rights as an umbrella topic. The final report will provide data on the volume of training needs required for racism, discrimination and hate crimes as subtopics.

CEPOL is also a member of the High Level Group on combating racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance, set up by the Commission. In addition, the agency co-chairs the Working Group on Hate Crime Training and Capacity Building for National Law Enforcement, which will have its first meeting on 23-24 March. A survey has been conducted by CEJI (A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe, an international non-profit organisation established in 1991), with the support of CEPOL, to provide a mapping of hate crime training within the EU. The outcomes of this exercise will be discussed within the Working Group and will feed into its action plan.

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