COMMON EUROPEAN PREVENTION POLICING
A priority during the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council
One of the topics that will be promoted during the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union is policing in Common European Prevention Policing.
According to Eurostat, at the beginning of 2018, 4% of the EU citizens of working age were residing in another member state than of their citizenship.
The intra-EU mobility determined also the process of relocation of criminal groups and gave rise to an increased mobility of the criminal phenomenon. Moreover, social cultural and sportive events tend to involve on a regular basis more varied crowds of people.
Romania’s experience on bilateral cooperation showed that activities can be carried out in a much more efficient manner by deploying police officers on the territory of the Member States, for extended periods of time, therefore tailoring police response to the specifics of a multicultural community and obtaining more visible results in the fight against cross-border crime.
The Romanian Police has contributed to diminishing the crime rate in European countries since 2006. From the very beginning the Romanian police officers have worked together with their Italian and French colleagues for preventing crime and relating to Romanian communities abroad have contributed to the image the Romanian Police has in the EU member states. Posting police officers to law enforcement agencies from Member States where significant communities of citizens coming from other Member States resided channelled towards these agencies know-how, trust and capabilities, thus adding a substantial contribution in terms of policing the diverse communities, while overcoming biases and difficulties of preventing and combating crimes and victimization
Previous European initiatives At the European Union level, during its Presidency of the Council of the European Union, in 2008, France had the initiative of setting up European police stations, based on the provisions of the Prüm Treaty, at force at that time. The goal was to strengthen the operational cooperation between member states, in order to fight crime more effectively. Thus, member states agreed on established temporary exchanges of personnel among the law enforcement authorities of Member States, in particular within the framework of European police stations and called on the competent bodies to make regular evaluations of the measures set out in these conclusions.
The proposal was based on the need that certain areas of the European Union have heavy concentrations of tourists or are from time to time venues for major events. Linguistic and cultural differences were seen as an obstacles to local police officers dealing with them satisfactorily. It was foreseen that these difficulties could be easily overcome by sending police officers of the same nationality as the tourists to work with the police forces of the host State for the duration of the event or the tourist season.
Ten years later, the Austrian Presidency, argues that while migration indeed makes many European societies more lively and diverse, it also makes them more contradictory, more turbulent and more vulnerable to threats. Conventional methods to fight or prevent crime are not sufficient to take away people’s sense of uncertainty, enhance their sense of security, detect actual risks at an early stage or, in the best case, ensure these are avoided all together.
The way forward- Romanian contribution
The Romanian Presidency would like to take this approach even further, and invite member states to reflect on the possibility to build upon the instrument provided by PRŰM Decisions, namely to deploy officers and set up joint operations, by extending the initial competences of operational support officers towards a preventive dimension. Also, it would like to assess whether this instrument proved useful in these 10 years, and explore more flexible financing possibilities.
Common European Prevention Policing model would aim to deploy police officers to particular areas so that communities can interact with more familiar authorities in order to prevent both victimization and criminality. The main goal would be to improve the framework of the preventive role of policing so that the EU security authorities identify social developments and security challenges at an early stage.