Select Committee on European Union Fortieth Report


EU POLICE ASSISTANCE TEAM (EUPAT) IN MACEDONIA

Letter from Rt Hon Geoff Hoon MP, Minister for Europe, Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the Chairman

  I am writing to let your committee know of the successful completion of the mandate of EUPAT in Macedonia culminating in the handover of police development and reform activities to a field monitoring team under the European Commission Community Assistance for Reconstruction, Development and Stabilisation (CARDS) programme.

  Throughout its mandate of six months EUPAT continued to support the development of a professional police service, focusing its activities on sustainability of EUPOL Proxima achievements through monitoring and mentoring the country's police on priority issues in the field of Border Police, Public Peace and Order and Accountability, and the fight against corruption and Organised Crime. EUPAT focussed on middle and senior management and special attention was paid to three key areas.

  1.  The Sector for Internal Control and Professional Standards—an increase in initiative and proactivity in the launch of investigations and increased confidence of the public and other organisations in the Sector was noted.

  2.  Co-operation between police and other law enforcement agencies—there are positive indications that this is increasing, particularly between agencies such as the Uniformed Police and Crime Investigation Department and Border Police who have followed the advice given by EUPAT and its predecessor EUPOL Proxima to hold regular inter-agency co-ordination meetings. EUPAT further recommends that these inter-agency meetings become mandatory. Positive progress was also noted by EUPAT's Law Enforcement Monitors in the Organised Crime Unit of Public Prosecutors which has performed well when involved in a number of high profile investigations and prosecutions.

  3.  Police comprehensive reform—Progress in areas such as decentralisation and the restructuring of the Territorial Police Services was slower than expected, due to delays in the adoption of the Law on Police. In response to this EUPAT has produced detailed recommendations on the areas that will need continued support from the field monitoring team, particularly that the team maintains a significant presence at the Ministry of Interior level and takes a two pronged approach to supporting police in the decentralisation process. High level commanders need to be mentored and advised on how to relinquish their powers to the appropriate level and local police will need support in dealing with the added responsibility as these powers are delegated. The EUSR's Office has supported and co-ordinated the transition from EUPAT to the field monitoring team.

  As intended EUPAT has provided a monitoring presence bridging the gap between EUPOL Proxima and the CARDS field monitoring team, sustaining the progress made thus far and allowing for continued progress in the interim. The field monitoring team will be given valuable head start thanks to the provision of a comprehensive dossier put together by EUPAT in order to facilitate knowledge transfer between the two teams.

28 June 2006



 
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