• 30 July 2014

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    Category : Opinion

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    The Spanish Police and international cooperation

    Alicia Malo, Commissioner of the International Cooperation area of the National Police Force, reviews the long track record of the CNP in this area, as well as the different projects this institution has undertaken with the FIIAPP.

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    The National Police has accumulated considerable experience in the area of international cooperation which got underway with its formal adhesion in 1928 to INTERPOL. Years later, Spain became part of the then-named European Economic Community, and of the Schengen space in 1991, with its resulting adhesion to SIRENE, and in 1993 the National Police joined in the launching of the European police cooperation agency EUROPOL. In these years, its international police cooperation has been strengthened by greater presence and activity in these international fora and bodies, with increased accreditation of advisors, attachés and liaison officials. Currently the National Police has advisors and attachés accredited in 99 countries: 36 in Europe, 22 in America, 25 in Africa and 16 in Asia. There are also agents of the National Police in the headquarters of INTERPOL, EUROPOL and the OLAF, the institutions of the European Union, FRONTEX, EUROJUST, the American OAS, the United Nations, the German BKA, the French DCPAF, the OCRTIS in Martinique, the French PAU Prefecture and in the Portuguese MAOC-N.

    Recently the International Cooperation Division was created within the General Directorate of the Police, an event that made a collaboration that the National Police Force has in effect always maintained as a priority objective stronger at the highest level.

    The new International Cooperation Division was created with the idea of bringing together all the police offices and areas working on coordination and international cooperation; strengthening the network of advisors, attachés and liaison officials; participating in operative units in international operations and investigations; reinforcing information and intelligence exchanges within the framework of EUROPOL, INTERPOL and SIRENE; and developing the Ibero-American Police Academy, among other objectives.

    The National Police Force and the FIIAPP have been working jointly on the international outreach of the Spanish police since 1997, a year in which they jointly presented a project for Hungary entitled “Police force training programme”.

    Since the first joint international project, the two institutions have presented project proposals in European Commission tenders on numerous occasions, having won, executed and completed over 40 projects funded by diverse European Commission instruments by 2013, which has favoured and promoted Spanish international police cooperation.

    The FIIAPP and the CNP have worked together to support the processes of stabilization and association of EU candidate countries, as well as of potential candidate countries, from the Europe of 15 States to the current 28 Member States, respecting their particularities and the specific processes of each, by providing technical assistance and advising in the transposition of the Schengen aquis, as well as in the modernization of working structures and procedures in the area of security.

    Likewise, the joint collaboration of the two institutions has enabled them to present and execute projects within the framework of the financing instrument of the European Neighbourhood Policy aimed at strengthening governance and trans-border interregional police cooperation in the Mediterranean basin and with other countries bordering the EU. In particular, it has participated in the establishment and adaptation of police forces; good governance and management; the application of the Rule of Law; respect for human rights; and the fight against fraud, corruption, organized crime and terrorism in the beneficiary countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy.

    The joint external cooperation actions have also included support for the stability of third countries, by sharing tools, methods and best police practices with them that enable them to address security crises and rehabilitation following these or following a situation of instability. Africa in recent years has been becoming a place of confluence of the joint participation of the two institutions and where the security and stability of its regions occupies an important part of the external action of both the FIIAPP and the National Police Force.

    The CNP and the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies are currently working together in the execution of activities of a technical-policy nature in over 22 projects in diverse regions of the world, including China. Many of these leadership projects executed by Spain involve permanent on-site posting of police officials in diverse regions of the world of special interest for Spanish international police cooperation.

    Lastly, due to special historic bonds of brotherhood and their strategic nature for our country, we would like to highlight thesignificant action undertaken in Ibero-America and the Caribbean with the execution of important projects such as AMERIPOL, PASS-HONDURAS, as well as others getting underway at the present, such as ENLCD-PERU, in which the FIIAPP and the CNP, under the Secretariat of State for Security of the Ministry of the Interior, are leading Working Groups in the region made up of representatives of diverse EU Member States within the framework of European Commission financing instruments.

    The views and opinions expressed in this blog are the sole responsibility of its author.