Republic of Bulgaria

MI

 

18 May 2018

CEPOL activities are in line with the EU priorities in the internal security area

 

On 14-15 May 2018, Bulgaria hosted for the first time a Management Board meeting of the EU Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL), as part of the calendar of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU.

The delegates from the EU Member States, the European Commission, the CEPOL Headquarters and the Agency’s Internal Audit Panel reviewed the current state of play and approved the Annual Activity Report for 2017, as well as the 2019 Programming Document related to improving the skills of law enforcement officers and sharing knowledge and best practices.

“CEPOL is the centre of European law enforcement training and learning, focusing on innovation and quality. We highly appreciate its activities, designed to meet the needs of the Member States in the internal security priority areas stemming from the EU Policy Cycle on Serious and Organised Crime,” said in his welcome address the Deputy Minister of Interior, Mr. Krasimir Tsipov. Highlighting the strong emphasis that the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior puts on the proper education and training of its officers, he pointed out that the Academy of the Ministry has developed a sustainable partnership with CEPOL.

The participants discussed also corporate matters concerning the CEPOL’s capacity building projects and long-term strategy from 2020 on. They took note of the Agency’s Progress report and adopted decisions related to the future activities in providing frontline training on security priorities.

 

 

Background

Dedicated to develop, implement and coordinate trainings, CEPOL is an EU agency that brings together a network of training institutes for Member States’ law enforcement officials. It also works with EU bodies, international organisations, and third countries to ensure that the most serious security threats are tackled with a collective response. The agency’s current portfolio encompasses residential activities, online learning (i.e. webinars, online modules, online courses, etc.), exchange programmes, common curricula, research and science.

Radio communications are an effective tool in extreme situations in police work

 

 

The Ministry of Interior hosted a meeting of the Radio Communication Expert Group (RCEG), a subformat of the Law Enforcement Working Party (LEWP).

During the working sessions, representatives of the law enforcement structures of the EU Member States, Norway and Switzerland discussed the implementation of pan-European radio communications for protection of public order and disaster response. In this context, next generation network projects were reviewed.

"Often, radio communications are the only way for our officers on terrain to stay connected in extreme conditions and emergencies. Through them, the different law enforcement structures can harmonise their actions and work as a team,” said the Deputy Minister of Interior, Mr. Stefan Balabanov, at the opening of the meeting. He highlighted the continuity and consistency in the work of the expert group as a guarantee for efficiency in the age of technology.

Delegates from Norway, Finland and Sweden shared experience in developing inter system interoperability projects. The participants also took note of the progress on the European fleetmap in this area. Bulgaria presented best practices in the development of the TETRA network of the Ministry of Interior and the Integrated Intelligent Security System. The discussions also focused on the progress in third-generation mobile phone system specifications, as well as on harmonisation of frequencies for drones used for public order protection and disaster response.

 

Background

RCEG was established based on the Council Recommendation of  4-5 June 2009 on improving radio communication between operational units in border areas, for the purpose of coping with the growing need for mission - critical communication by examining the issues involved in the development of intersystem interfaces, including cost and funding opportunities. RCEG reports to the Law Enforcement Working Party (LEWP), and includes experts who deal with mobile communications.

09 May 2018

The Bulgarian Presidency puts a strong emphasis on protecting cultural heritage

 

 

A conference on Counteraction to Illegal Trafficking in Cultural Goods gathered on 9 May in Sofia EU law enforcement officers with representatives of cultural institutions, academia and international organisations. This was one of the three thematic conferences on priorities of the current EU agenda, which the Ministry of Interior organised in the framework of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU. The event was held in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and was dedicated to 2018 – the first European Year of Cultural Heritage.

The discussions focused on developing a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach in response to the current challenges in this area. Delegates agreed that strengthening the cross-border cooperation on global level, as well as the exchange of experience and best practices, have proven to be of key importance in achieving adequate response, capabilities and capacities.

“We truly believe that countering different forms of organised crime and terrorism cannot be done effectively without paying adequate attention and taking appropriate actions regarding illicit trafficking and trade in cultural goods,” said in his opening address the Deputy Minister of Interior, Mr. Krasimir Tsipov. In his words, the rapidly changing security environment and numerous interlinked threats represent a strong argument for enhancing the efforts of all interested stakeholders.

Reiterating that preserving the heritage is crucial for the present and future of the European project, the Deputy Minister of Culture, Ms. Amelia Gesheva, emphasised: “Our common goal must be to develop an environment of zero tolerance to all crimes related to the violation of legislation, destroying of cultural heritage and trafficking in cultural goods, regardless of their origin. Only the engagement of the whole society can guarantee success to our efforts”.

During the conference, participants reviewed the national preconditions for international cooperation as well as the interdisciplinary collaboration between the investigative authorities on specific cases of illicit trafficking and transfer of cultural goods. Particular focus was placed on fighting online fencing and protecting cultural goods through digitalisation.

 

09 May 2018

EU CULTNET discussed the initiative of the Bulgarian Presidency to formalise the network

 

 

On 8 May 2018, the Ministry of Interior hosted the 5th meeting of the Informal Network of Law Enforcement Authorities and Expertise Competent in the Field of Cultural Goods (EU CULTNET).

The participants considered the ideas for the future of EU CULTNET, taking into account the initiative of the Bulgarian Presidency to formalise the network. The proposal is based on the readiness of the Netherlands to ensure the functioning of a possible permanent secretariat.

“We realize that when preserving our history from criminal violations, we prevent the facilitation and financing of many other forms of serious crime, as well as terrorism. Our strategies and actions for improving the protection of our heritage are crucial for our present and our future,” said in her welcome address Senior Commissioner Blagorodna Makeva, Deputy Director of National Police General Directorate and Chair of Law Enforcement Working Party (LEWP). Acknowledging the continuance of the process of formalising the network, she stressed the need of common and comprehensive approach in effectively countering the phenomenon of illicit trafficking and trade in cultural goods.

Along with the strategic discussions on the future of EU CULTNET, the delegates discussed the state of play of the network’s activities, reviewed current challenges in combating crimes against cultural heritage. The meeting was attended by representatives of the EU Member States, which are part of the network, Europol, the European Commission and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

 

Background

EU CULTNET is an informal network of law enforcement authorities and expertise competent in the field of cultural goods, set up by the Council in October 2012 for the purpose of preventing and combating crime against cultural goods. The Network is cooperating with international organizations such as Interpol and UNESCO as well as the relevant third countries authorities. The activities of the Network are supervised by Law Enforcement Working Party.

08 May 2018

First Europol Management Board Meeting with the new Executive Director Catherine De Bolle

Minister Radev: The Agency has become the driving force that unites and coordinates the efforts of the national law enforcement authorities

 

The Ministry of Interior was the symbolic host of the 107th Management Board Meeting of the EU Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) that was held on 3 and 4 May. The first meeting since the official start of Catherine De Bolle’s term of office as Executive Director of the Agency took place in Sofia as part of the calendar of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Representatives of the EU Member States, Denmark (with an observer status) and the European Commission reviewed the operational activities and the results achieved in key areas, and approved the Annual Report for 2017.

In his opening speech, the Bulgarian Minister of Interior, Mr. Valentin Radev, highlighted Europol’s key role in the implementation of the EU Policy Cycle for organised and serious international crime: "The Agency has become the driving force that unites and coordinates the efforts of the national law enforcement authorities. Along with the up-to-date and qualitative information, Europol provides a wide range of tools of crucial importance to the police services." He also emphasised the practical importance of the Joint Action Days that are becoming more effective with each year. Minister Radev wished a successful term of office to the new Executive Director, Ms Catherine De Bolle, in achieving Europol goals and strengthening further the agency's capabilities.

On her behalf, Ms. De Bolle outlined that Europol’s focus should remain on supporting Member States in fighting increasingly complex and global security threats from crime and terrorism. “We need to go beyond the current thinking and build a Europol that can respond even better to the needs and concerns of Member States and Europol’s partners,“ highlighted the new Executive Director. She added that it is important to use the Agency’s resources in the best way possible to ensure Europol’s services are seen as being central to the joint response.

The Management Board discussed current strategic and corporate matters and adopted decisions related to the future activities of the Agency aimed at facilitating the Member States’ efforts in countering serious and organised crime and terrorism. A special focus was put on the cooperation with the Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group (JPSG), which was represented for the first time at a meeting of the Management Board.

04 May 2018

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