On January 16, Euromed Police held its Closing Conference at the Academy Palace in Brussels. Laden with prestige and history, this building matched the significance of the event and the hospitality offered by the partner countries over the course of the final phase of Euromed Police IV.
The event convened around eighty representatives and experts from partner countries on both sides of the Mediterranean. Among them were national coordinators, members of the analysis and capacity-building networks, as well as a number of delegates from European and international institutions. Some high-level representatives were also present, including the Executive Directors of Afripol and CEPOL, the European Counter-Terrorism Coordinator and the Directors of the Judicial Police of Morocco and Algeria, among others.
Following the opening speeches, the Euromed Police team summarized the main achievements of the fourth phase, as well as the lessons learned during its implementation. Among the numbers mentioned were the 35 activities coordinated, for which 859 police officers were mobilized. Among the prouder results were the 11 activities exercised in the Southern Mediterranean, for which partner countries offered significant expertise and resources. This mobilization echoes the successful adoption of the project by the partner countries and represents the spirit of cooperation that has animated its members over the years: a reciprocal flow of experience between Southern and Northern Mediterranean partners.
The perennity of the two major productions of Euromed Police – the Euromed Threat Assessment and the Digital Evidence Manual – was discussed in the presence of CEPOL and Europol, who are to play an important role in the continuity of these initiatives and of the project as a whole.
Moving beyond the confines of Euromed Police, the most part of the conference was dedicated to three thematic round-table discussions, in which experienced speakers from both sides of the Mediterranean exchanged their perspectives on three themes that have driven the Euromed Police project: counter-terrorism, threat analysis and cybercrime.
As a conclusion, the Project Leader Mr. Michel Quillé, expressed heartfelt gratitude to all project stakeholders for their support and their continuous dedication over the past four years. As the final moments approached, an idea was palpably present amongst all participants: that a “Euromed Police Community”, on which future Euro-Mediterranean police cooperation could be built, had truly been formed.