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October 5, 2022

Romanian-Belgian Police Cooperation at full speed in 2013

Romanian-Belgian police cooperation began in the 1990’s with the understanding that the exchange of information was important. The posting of liaison officers at the Romanian Embassy in Brussels in 1999 and at the Belgian Embassy in Bucharest in 1999 was the next step in developing a closer cooperation.  In 2007, a joint protocol was signed between the Romanian and Belgian police forces. This protocol has been since then the basis for several other police cooperation agreements with Romania. After a successful implementation of the first joint action plan, the following action plans met the same success in the field of training and meetings between experts.
In 2013, a new dimension was added with the participation of Romanian police officers in activities in Belgium. The police zone Brussels-City/Ixelles welcomed two Romanian police officers in the summer months (from 12 June to 28 August 2013).  They were incorporated in the vice squad and took part in actions in neighbourhoods where Romanian targets are present. A positive experience according to chief inspector Michel Dubois, deputy director of the vice squad. Police officer Corina Botea and her colleague Gabriel Salgau also share this positive experience. The former works for the Fugitive Unit, the counterpart of the Belgian FAST (Fugitive Active & Asset Search Team), two units that have already cooperated before. The latter is part of the department that deals with itinerant offenders. “By coming here, I wanted to see how the Belgian police work and especially how they deal with ‘the street’. I discovered procedures that differ from ours”, Salgau explains. More Romanian police officers have arrived in Belgium in the meantime. They are assigned to different units for a period of 15 days to almost three months. A police officer works in the police zone Polbruno, the northern Brussels zone, for two weeks and then in the police zone Brussels-City/Ixelles for two and a half months. The federal judicial police also welcomed two investigators: one specialises in the fight against itinerant offenders and the other in the fight against bank card fraud. Both police forces have on their 2013 programme also specific areas of training, namely underwater detection by means of the sonar and operational crime analysis and witness protection and dactyloscopic analyses.
Thanks to the good police cooperation between the Belgian and Romanian institutions, the Schengen membership in police and justice of which Romania is member since 2010,  inforces the trust needed in delicate issues as combating crime and managing prevention.

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