ESTABLISHING A EUROPEAN INSTITUTE OF POLICE
Initiative of the Kingdom of Spain establishing a European Institute of Police Studies.
|Legal base:||Articles 30(1), 30(2)(d), 31(c) and (e), 32, 34 (1) and (2) EU; consultation; unanimity
|Deposited in Parliament:||28 February 2002
|Basis of consideration:||EM of 12 March 2002
|Previous Committee Report:||None
|To be discussed in Council:||Date not set
|Committee's assessment:||Politically important
|Committee's decision:||Not cleared; further information requested.
14.1 This is a Spanish Presidency initiative, arising
from the belief that the existing informal arrangement, based
on annual meetings between the relevant bodies, is ineffective.
14.2 The draft Decision proposes the establishment of
an Institute of Police Studies to encourage research and studies
into criminality, to develop common research criteria and to foster
co-operation and the sharing of research material. For at least
its first three years, the Institute would operate as a network
of research institutes across Member States.
14.3 On similar lines to the European Police College
network, the Institute would have a Governing Board composed of
directors of national training and research institutes. The Governing
Board would draw up the annual work programme and establish a
permanent secretariat to oversee the work programme and manage
the budget. The costs of running the Institute and its programme
would be borne jointly by the Member States.
The Government's view
14.4 The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the
Home Office (Mr Bob Ainsworth) tells us that, although the Government
recognises the value of initiatives designed to improve the effectiveness
of research in the fight against crime and disorder, it has a
number of concerns about the current proposal. He points out that
it was not one of the specific conclusions of the Tampere European
Council, and reiterates the UK belief that EU effort should concentrate
on implementing those conclusions.
14.5 The Minister continues:
"The proposal does not adequately identify the nature or
the extent of the problem that establishing an Institute of Police
Studies is supposed to address. It would be helpful to have more
clarity in this area and, in particular, more detail about the
existing informal arrangements, and alternative solutions, which
could form the basis of a cost comparison.
"The UK does not have an Institute of Police Studies and
other Member States may find themselves in a similar position.
This gives us some cause for concern in that there may not be
a substantial enough framework of national research institutes
around which to construct the proposed formal network."
14.6 The Minister then expresses concern about the overlap
with a number of existing EU institutions involved in crime-related
research, including Europol, Eurojust, and the EU Crime Prevention
Network (EUCPN). In particular, he considers that many of the
activities proposed for the Institute would duplicate the work
of the European Police College (CEPOL). He also cites the role
of special fora such as the European Network of Forensic Science
Institutes and the European Society of Criminology. In general,
he considers that insufficient attention may have been given to
the research-related activities of all these institutions before
this proposal for a new body was developed.
14.7 The Minister points out that a costing for the proposed
Institute will be needed. He also suggests that the legal base
will need further examination if the proposal is carried forward.
14.8 He informs us that the Association of Chief Police
Officers, the Scottish Police College and the College of the Police
Service of Northern Ireland have been consulted on the proposal,
and have expressed concerns about the potential costs and the
strength of the business case. They would not, however, actively
oppose the development.
14.9 Finally, the Minister tells us that the Presidency
does not appear to have a date in mind for including the proposal
on a Council agenda.
14.10 We share the Minister's concern about this proposal,
which seems to have been developed without taking into account
the role and remit of other bodies already working in closely-related
14.11 We will keep the document under scrutiny until
we know more about the progress of negotiations. We ask the Minister
to inform us if, as seems possible, the proposal does not proceed.