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29 June 2010

Dear colleagues,

Spain is getting to end its Presidency period in CEPOL, the relay baton has already been passed to our Belgian colleagues during the hand over meeting and now it is time to say a word of thanks to all who have contributed positively to the development of this European Agency during this semester.

In spite of all the circumstances, events and contingencies, many advances have been made during our Presidency. The success of the Spanish Presidency has been built up throughout commitment, accountability, mutual trust and transparency.

We began our Presidency with the Lisbon Treaty and the approval of the Stockholm Programme. Both of them, along with the Internal Security Strategy – Spanish initiative approved under this Presidency by the European Council –, gave us a new political momentum in the field of Security an Justice setting up a demanding and challenging framework. This was also an excellent starting point for discussions to reach the consolidation and development of CEPOL.

We would like to stress that the Spanish Presidency has had to face noteworthy vicissitudes in the Agency, especially the change of Director and circumstances related to the former one which have been carried out and managed to round off the issue with clearness and responsibility.

The current Presidency has shared with all of you the desire to advance towards a better CEPOL. In this regard, we have promoted a series of initiatives at the beginning of the Presidency, aiming, all of them, at strengthening the police cooperation instruments and forging a European common police culture. In this context CEPOL has reached the following objectives during the Spanish Presidency:

  • The Exchange Programme for police officers inspired by Erasmus approved by the Council that will allow changing experiences and best practices and will contribute to forge a European police culture.
  • Establishment of the European Police Exchange Programme Project Group (EPEPPG) and Working Group (EPEPWG) which will work on the development, implementation and evaluation of the Exchange Programme inspired by Erasmus.
  • The agreement on developing a CEPOL strategy which will be finalized during the Belgian Presidency. CEPOL will have a commonly developed and clearly articulated strategy where the structure and governance of the Agency will be reconciled to guarantee the accomplishment of the objectives.
  • A Multi Annual Action Plan 2011-2014 has been approved and will be implemented to improve the functioning of CEPOL.
  • A Multi Annual Staff Policy Plan 2011-2013 has been agreed to be put into effect.
  • Formation of an Audit Panel to provide governance oversight on the efforts of the new management team to improve the administration and operation of the agency. In particular to provide assurance to the Governing Board of any measures taken by CEPOL to bring the finances into full alignment with the CEPOL and European Commission Financial Regulations as well as the principles of sound financial management.
  • A pilot project about CEPOL Permanent Representation will be put in place.
  • In order to improve College governance a pilot project has been approved under the Spanish Presidency in which the number of Governing Board meeting will be reduced during 2011.
  • All the necessary steps have been taken to implement the Framework Partnerships and Grant Agreements in the realm of CEPOL.
  • A third exchange period has been granted by the Commission.

We can conclude that we have scored some points in several areas and we have managed to maintain continuity through change.

Finally, I would like to express my deep gratitude to Dr. Ferenc Bánfi, Director of CEPOL, and CEPOL Secretariat for their engagement and willingness to help in our Presidency tasks and I also wish to thank the Belgian Presidency team for their willingness and unconditional support.

Yours faithfully,

Francisco Del Barrio

Chair of the CEPOL Governing Board



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