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The mission of the European Police Academy is to serve as a link among senior police officers from EU Member States and to promote cross-border cooperation and integration, particularly in areas such as crime prevention and the protection of public security. The fundamental task of CEPOL* is improving European police cooperation through training.

* CEPOL is a French acronym, meaning College européen de police


CEPOL was created on 22 December 2000 by Council Decision No. 2000/820/JHA, as an organisation integrating police educational institutions. CEPOL's tasks include training senior police officers, forming joint training programmes for the areas of organised crime and cross-border police cooperation, developing special programmes, training teachers or trainers, organising exchanges of experts in education, and disseminating good practice, research results and findings, as well as creating an electronic educational network.

On 26 July 2004 the Council adopted two amendments (2004/566/JHA and 2004/567/JHA) to the Decision establishing CEPOL. The first amendment granted CEPOL the status of a legal entity, while the second one designated Bramshill, UK, to be the seat of its permanent secretariat. The Secretariat is responsible for carrying out all necessary administrative assignments to implement CEPOL's annual programme, as well as its additional programmes and initiatives when necessary.

During that period CEPOL was financed from contributions by the Member States, which proved an obstacle to the smooth implementation of its programme. On 20 September 2005 the Council therefore adopted Decision No. 2005/681/PNZ, which made CEPOL an EU Agency as of 1 January 2006 and thus financed from the community budget. It operates as a network of national police educational institutions, which means that training and other activities take place in the Member States, which are also responsible for organising these events.

Decision-making and operation

All decisions regarding CEPOL's actions are adopted by the Governing Board, composed of representatives of the national educational institutions, while the Member State holding the EU presidency also presides over the Board. Each country has one vote. Representatives of the Commission, the General Secretariat of the EU Council and Europol, plus the Director of the CEPOL Secretariat, also take part in CEPOL's meetings but have no voting rights. The Governing Board convenes four times per year and adopts the annual programme and budget (which must be adopted unanimously), joint curricula, training programmes, teaching methods, and other teaching and training tools.

A number of committees provide support to the Governing Board: the Annual Programme Committee, the Training and Research Committee, the Budget and Administration Committee, and the Strategy Committee. The Rules of Procedure of CEPOL stipulate a rotating system of committee memberships, with each Member State having a three-year mandate on each committee. The Budget and Administration Committee and the Strategy Committee are presided over by the country holding the EU presidency.

The Governing Board may form working or project groups to elaborate programmes or propose and develop training strategies, concepts and tools.

The CEPOL Secretariat in Bramshill, UK, has 25 employees working in two units: the Programme Unit and the Administrative Unit. The Secretariat is run by a director.

National contact points are the official link between CEPOL and the Member States. They serve to distribute all communication, documents and publications. In this respect, the Police Academy within the General Police Directorate acts as the contact point for Slovenia.

Mission and activities of CEPOL

  • Training

    CEPOL's principal mission is training, yet CEPOL is aware that training itself does not mean learning. CEPOL sees learning as a process leading to changes and greater competences. In view of the fact that people learn differently, CEPOL promotes the use of different learning methods. The following elements are characteristic of CEPOL's training programmes:

    • Being targeted at the learner, they promote personal responsibility and concern for learning.
    • Their contents usually present the cross-border dimension of police work.
    • They serve as a link among senior police officers from EU Member States, as well as Switzerland, Norway and Iceland, and promote their integration into networks.
    • It is not only the teachers or trainers who contribute to professionalism, but also the participants in the training themselves.
    • Learning should not end when a participants finishes the training. CEPOL promotes utilisation of the acquired skills and competences, and provides for ongoing learning.

    Each year CEPOL organises around 80 different training courses in the Member States, including Slovenia. Slovenian police officers participate in these courses. The working language is English.

  • E-learning

    CEPOL's target group comprises around 200,000 senior police officers in the EU. Modern technology opens the way to new and innovative methods of learning, which provide individuals with the opportunity to choose their place and time of learning more freely. One of the key tasks of CEPOL in the near future is to organise and provide e-learning, which, in combination with contact learning, would serve to disseminate knowledge, understanding and experience more effectively.

  • Joint programmes

    CEPOL formulates joint programmes for the areas of police work where particular knowledge and skills require uniformity, and assists in introducing such programmes into national educational systems. The following programmes are currently available or are being prepared:

    • Counter Terrorism
    • European Police Cooperation
    • Europol
    • Police Ethics and Prevention of Corruption
    • Domestic Violence
    • Money Laundering
    • Trafficking of Human Beings
    • Drug Trafficking
    • Civilian Crisis Management
    • Management of Diversity

    In formulating joint programmes, priorities are determined in line with the expectations and decisions of other EU bodies, such as the European Commission, the Council, Europol with its OCTA recommendations, and the Chief of Police Task Force.

  • Research

    Efficient police work should be based on the results of research. CEPOL therefore endeavours to disseminate and advance research activities, as well as to promote good practice and thus develop and integrate knowledge. For this purpose, the European Police Research and Science Database (eDoc) and the European Police Knowledge Net (EPKN) have been established and are now available online through a password. Users who are interested may receive their passwords via the Police Academy. Each year, a research conference is organised as well.

  • Projects

    In 2007-08 a research project supported with funds from the AGIS Exchange Programme is taking place within CEPOL. As part of this project, senior police officers and teachers visit two Member States for a fixed period (usually two weeks), while their respective Member State receives two participants in the exchange.

    The purpose of the Euromed II programme, also known as MEDA II, which is also carried out by CEPOL, is to improve the EU's international police cooperation in the Mediterranean area. The receiving states are: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian National Authority, Syria and Tunisia.


CEPOL Secretariat
Hampshire RG27 0JW
United Kingdom
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