Croatian Presidency and CEPOL hold conference on the impact of Covid-19 on law enforcement practice

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25 June 2020

Today the online conference “Policing the Pandemic” was hosted by the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the EU Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL). With fact-based analysis by experts and frontline experience from across EU Member States, the conference focused on the impact of the pandemic on the law enforcement practice in Europe.

The event provided an opportunity to learn about policing strategies enforced and rolled out in countries such as France, Italy, Belgium and Croatia in response to Covid-19 and to shine light on the new array of challenges law enforcement bodies faced in view of the coronavirus spread. In the afternoon, the conference featured the participation of relevant European and international bodies such as Europol, Frontex, Eurojust and Interpol, whose representatives revealed some of the key findings of the analysis undertaken in their respective areas of competence.

In her keynote speech, Director-General of the European Commission’s Migration and Home Affairs’ department, Ms Monique Pariat, stated: “Solidarity, coordination, synergies are nice words we can all identify with, but these must be translated into concrete actions. [..] The unprecedented situation we are in at the moment has shown, once again, and hopefully to everyone, that we need much more Europe in finding solutions for our citizens”.

Referring to the expectations from the law enforcement in the context of the immense impact of COVID-19 on our societies, State Secretary from the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Croatia, Mr Žarko Katić, emphasized: "Both law enforcement and judicial authorities need to respond to the new criminal threats by adjusting the operational methods to the new environment." Mr Katić further pointed out "the need for swift and secure communication between authorities in this crisis as one of the main conditions to ensure operational work. Consequently, this is reflected in the growing demand by law enforcement authorities for online trainings and for smart solutions which would enable such communication,” he concluded.

Along these lines, CEPOL’s Executive Director, Dr.h.c. Detlef Schröder, underlined: “The current pandemic crisis has evidenced how fast and agile nowadays learning and training services need to be to prepare law enforcement for the emerging challenges. We know how challenging it has been for many training institutes in Europe to shift towards online services; and we have discovered the limitations of this choice. However, we have also seen the great potential behind online tools to achieve effective learning experiences.”

Covid-19 specific online training

Mr Schröder seized the opportunity to announce that the Agency is conducting, in cooperation with the Council of the EU, an analysis on the impact of Covid-19 on investigations and training needs. The outcomes of this analysis will serve as a basis for the design of Covid-19 specific online training aimed at enhancing the knowledge, skills and competencies of law enforcement officials across Europe.

The conference, open only to senior law enforcement officials from Member States, EU Commission, agencies as well as relevant national-level stakeholders, was livestreamed using CEPOL’s own online conferencing tools.

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European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training
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European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training
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