New Vision for CEPOL

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31 October 2007

A five-year 'vision' for CEPOL, as well as recommendations for strengthening the network, will be prepared following the CEPOL Network Working Conference, which took place in Mondorf-les-Bains, Luxembourg on 10-12 October 2007.

The aim of the conference was to allow participants to consider CEPOL's network function and collate proposals and recommendations for strengthening the network in the future. A report summarising the outcomes of the conference will be presented to the Strategy Committee and CEPOL Governing Board for consideration.

Since CEPOL was established as an agency of the European Union, the continuing importance of functioning as a network has been central to the organisation. The functioning of the network was discussed during two CEPOL Governing Board meetings in 2006, and a draft policy paper on possible improvements debated. The conference built on these previous discussions.

Participants were divided into five working groups to carry out a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats), to discuss a possible 'vision' for CEPOL in five years time and to consider the following questions:

  • How can the network ensure that knowledge is shared between individual countries and Member States?
  • How can we strengthen understanding of the roles and their functions, within CEPOL's network?
  • Member States are the network - how can levels of commitment be improved and maintained?
  • How can we improve the information system of our network?
  • How can the network ensure the commitment and continued work of Committees and Working Groups?

The working groups provided participants with a forum to brainstorm, develop new ideas as well as suggest possible solutions to issues. Many similar ideas come from the different groups.

Janos Fehervary, Austria, who concluded the plenary on the final day, said: 'The results of the SWOT and vision sessions should form the basis of a strategic plan for the network. It has been a good conference and my proposal is to not stop here working together for the network - this should be one of the starting points - let us continue. There are several key ideas that have come out of the working groups - not least a need to strengthen the network through clear roles and responsibilities, improve efficiency, be more effective and proactive.'

Ulf Göransson, Director, added: 'This conference has essentially been about considering CEPOL's 'next step' since becoming an agency of the EU. We have a new structure, new finances, new organisation and I promise you we will refer to the ideas generated in this conference for the next few years as we did in the 'Italian-Swedish conferences' when CEPOL was originally set-up. The next steps are to develop a general business plan, communications strategy, define Governing Board working methods and define the different roles in the network.'

A total of 59 participants took part from 23 Member States, the Portuguese Presidency, CEPOL Secretariat and conference organisers. The event was very well organised by Luxembourg on behalf of the network.


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