The interior ministers of the Salzburg Forum member states adopted a joint declaration on security priorities at the end of a ministerial conference held in Bucharest on Thursday and Friday.
“In the declaration, the ministers recognise the opportunity to develop the concept of ‘community policing’, a concept proposed by Romania, whose main purpose is to adapt the response of law enforcement agencies to the particularities of the communities in the member states,’ according to a press statement released by the Romanian Internal Affairs Ministry (MAI).
Specifically, the concept of “community policing” involves “building bridges” between communities and law enforcement authorities.
“According to the latest Eurostat statistics, at the beginning of 2016, over 16 million citizens of EU member states lived in the territory of a member state other than the member state of residence. It is therefore appropriate for police officers of the same nationality with community members to carry out missions for preventive purposes on the soil of other member states, under the coordination and in co-operation with the national police. ”
At the proposal of MAI, the ministers concluded that it is appropriate to update the concept of intelligence analysis within the law enforcement authorities of the member states with new unified standards adapted to the current international and European context.
The Salzburg Forum Ministerial Conference also discussed the European Commission’s announced intentions to increase the operational capacity of the European Coast Guard and Coast Guard Agency as well as alternative solutions for improving the protection of the external borders of the EU.
IntMin Dan on Salzburg Forum meetings on illegal migration, Schengen bid and police cooperation
Speaking on Friday after the Salzburg Forum Ministerial Conference, Minister of the Interior Carmen Dan said that talks envisaged the member states’ experience in combating illegal migration and Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area.
“As far as border security is concerned, it was important to share with our colleagues, with the other representatives of the international bodies and institutions the experiences each of us, the nine Forum member states, our partners and today’s guests – specifically the Republic of Moldova – have had with the combat of illegal migration. And I am saying this because we had hands-on discussions about specific situations and how the states confronted with this phenomenon understand to combat it,” said Carmen Dan.
“We discussed Romania’s Schengen bid. You know very well that we were fulfilling the technical requirements as early as 2011 and this was a good opportunity to discuss our steadfastly maintaining this goal during the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union,” said Carmen Dan.
The Minister mentioned that as far as police cooperation is concerned, all the guests to the Forum welcomed and showed interest in Romania’s proposal regarding the operational exchange of officers among the states, just as Romania already has operational support officers in states with a strong Romanian community: France, Spain, Italy, the UK.
Minister Dan added that considering several recent unfortunate events, she and her Hungarian counterpart discussed road safety.
“Together we decided to have Hungarian and Romanian police conduct joint patrol activities in the area adjacent to the border checkpoints with Hungary. We have this practice in place with Bulgarian partners too,” said Carmen Dan.
She also mentioned the discussion she had at the Forum with Europol Executive Director Catherine De Bolle about Romania’s intention to submit its candidacy for a seat on the Forum Board.
“We have 74 experts at Europol and we took this opportunity to announce her that we plan and prepare for a candidacy for the Europol Board. [Ms. De Bolle] welcomed this idea and mentioned the very good cooperation with our officers and that she greatly appreciates their work within Europol,” said Carmen Dan.