Brussels, 20 April 2005
EU High Representative for the CFSP,
announces the establishment of
the EU Coordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support
Javier Solana, EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, made the following comments on the occasion of the establishment today in Ramallah of the European Union Coordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support:
"I am pleased to announce that we are setting up the EU Coordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support today in Ramallah.
With this initiative in the field of police support, another key part of the Action Plan proposed last year and including an array of actions in the fields of security, reforms, elections and the economy, is now coming to fruition.
This important event is the culmination of a dialogue between the EU and the PA and testifies to the commitment of Palestinian leaders – in primis Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia and Minister of Interior Nasser Youssef – to police transformation.
Assisting the Palestinian Authority on the crucial path to assuming responsibility for law and order and improving its civil police and law enforcement capacity is and will remain a priority for the EU. Today’s agreement is an important step to that end."
FOR FURTHER DETAILS:
Spokesperson of the Secretary General, High Representative for CFSP
_ + 32 (0)2 285 6467 / 6217 / 8239 / 5150 / 5151 _ + 32 (0)2 285 5694
Today’s exchange of letters between the EU and the Palestinian Authority (PA) establishes the European Union Coordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support (EU COPPS). The exchange of letters was signed in Ramallah by Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia and the EU Special Representative to the Middle East Peace Process Marc Otte.
The agreement involves a twin-track approach to assist the PA in developing a modern, effective and accountable civil police service. It entails providing support both for operational priorities and longer-term transformational change. The formulation of a Transformational and an Operational Plan, owned by the PA, remains the priority in providing long-term capacity building. In the short-term, the project aims to improve operational capacity and performance on the ground. A number of
operational projects are currently being implemented. The objective is to deliver urgently needed training and equipment that will enable the police to deliver enhanced services to the Palestinian people and help to create a climate free from the fear of violence.
A team currently consisting of four senior EU police advisers headed by Chief Superintendent Jonathan McIvor has been deployed in the West Bank and Gaza since mid-January 2005. The team is based in the Ministry of Interior building in Ramallah. It acts primarily in co-ordinating EU Member State donor activity and assists in the creation of a coherent framework for change. It will be available to international donors for information and advice. It will also provide facilitation and advice to those engaged in policing development, liaison with other stakeholders and will monitor and facilitate project implementation.
In December 2004, the European Council endorsed a programme of action proposed by the High Representative.
The programme aims to promote steps in four areas: security – including support to the Palestinian police -; Palestinian reforms; elections (the EU monitored the Palestinian presidential elections in January 2005) and economic recovery and development.
The European Council also stressed that these initiatives would need full cooperation from and between the parties, as well as coordination with other partners involved. The European Council reiterated its readiness to support the Palestinian Authority in taking responsibility for law and order.
EU COUNCIL SECRETARIAT
20 April 2005
EU assistance to the Palestinian civil police
• The European Union Co-ordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support (EU COPPS) was established following an exchange of letters on 20 April 2005 between Palestinian Prime Minister, Ahmed Qureia and EU Special Representative to the Middle East Peace Process, Marc Otte.
• Various factors have contributed to the creation of EU COPPS, inter alia:
• The Office has been created to draw on Member State funding and expertise cleared through the EU Police Unit in Brussels. It currently consists of four EU Police experts headed by Chief Superintendent Jonathan McIvor who have been deployed to the region since the beginning of January 2005, in addition to a local team that handles administrative tasks. Within the office of EUSR, this unit is based in East Jerusalem and in the building of the Palestinian Interior Ministry in Ramallah with a satellite office in Gaza City.
• The role of the Office consists of providing support both for immediate operational priorities, and longer-term transformational change management, by:
• The formulation of a Transformational and Operational Plan owned by the PA remains the priority short-term action despite pressure for immediate results on the ground. This plan is currently in the process of being drafted on the basis of the results of a 5 day intensive workshop, which was held under the aegis of EU COPPS and the Palestinian Ministry of the Interior. Key figures from the Palestinian Civil Police, other security personnel as well as representatives of relevant ministries and the justice system participated. The plan will lay the basis for the urgent delivery of badly needed equipment and training that will enable the police to patrol the streets effectively and deliver better services to the Palestinian people. Objectives include maintaining safety and security for all citizens, reducing crime and the fear of crime, and securing public confidence in the rule of law and the police. Physical needs include vehicles, communications equipment, office equipment, and infrastructure repair.
• So far, EU COPPS has already provided the Palestinian police with 54 specially fitted vehicles and communication kits (which were used, in particular, during the presidential elections of January 2005). Police equipment and other police vehicles (including specialist vehicles and personal protective gear) will be provided soon for a total amount of €10 M, in addition to a
small projects scheme. An audit of the communication infrastructure in Gaza and the West Bank is currently being carried out, with results due by the end of April 2005. It will form the basis for a needs assessment regarding material support for the short-, medium- and long term. EU COPPS is also co-ordinating the refurbishment of the Jericho Police Training Centre.
• In the medium-term, there is a need to help the police develop a policing strategy as well as the necessary implementing structures and management capacity. This needs to be closely coordinated with the implementation of the PA’s Roadmap commitments on security.
• Such efforts will take time and require a long-term donor commitment. Objectives would include (a) the development of a coherent legislative framework and proper accountability mechanisms for the police and (b) a contribution to police restructuring. Future projects include conferences and workshops to facilitate transformational planning and involvement of civil society, as well as drug enforcement and training programme (in co-ordination with UN Office on Drug Control and Crime Prevention).
• EU COPPS will seek complementarity with support for reform efforts in the wider criminal justice system. Co-ordination with the EU's Quartet partners as well as with other actors in the security area, notably Egypt, is also sought.
• Meetings continue to be held with donor community members and third parties who have expressed an interest in the work of EU COPPS. At a later stage and depending on how the situation develops on the ground, an expanded EU role in police reform and development could be considered, building on the experience gained by the EU in the field of civil crisis management in different regions (such as the Balkans).