The Problem

By preventing and protecting citizens from threats, Europe’s police officers are rightly perceived as the guardians of safe societies. However, the evolving security threats and challenges force Europe’s police officers to play increasingly diverse roles with increasingly diverse skillsets. When working together for a more secure Europe, it is crucial to consider the key role that police officers play while at the same time acknowledging the impact of changing security threats on European police forces.

The capacity of national police forces to counter criminality is being seriously compromised because of the severity of the public expenditure cuts on police pay and budgets throughout the EU. While the extent of police budget cuts and austerity vary widely across the EU, the EU’s open borders mean that decreases in Member States’ internal security budgets have a knock-on effect on security within the wider region. EuroCOP therefore believes that investment in necessary equipment and training for police officers is crucial. With the necessary investments, police officers will be better equipped and trained to combat security threats. When police officers are better equipped and trained, police cooperation across borders will be facilitated. Enhanced police cooperation across borders will make it possible to better define and combat security threats.

Our Recommendations

In July 2014, the European Commission launched a public consultation on the new EU Internal Security Strategy (the so-called European Agenda on Security) which offered EuroCOP the opportunity to share its written input on the challenges that European police officers face, highlighting the impact austerity measures, and providing concrete recommendations for actions that would have a positive impact on security. EuroCOP actively contributed to the discussions in Brussels in late 2014 and early 2015 to inform policymakers about the role of police officers and our position.

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