On 21-22 February, the IIJ hosted the First Euromed Police IV High Level Meeting in Valletta, Malta. The purpose of this meeting was to gather representatives from participating countries – EU Member States and South Partner Countries, including representatives from Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia – to present and ultimately endorse the Euromed Cooperation Priorities to Increase Citizen Security. These priorities are the result of consultations held between the Euromed Police IV project team and South Partner countries, and will form the basis of actions to be implemented throughout the project, including capacity-building for law enforcement forces. The priorities include countering terrorism, criminal analysis, irregular migration supported by criminal networks and trafficking of human beings, cybercrime, and cyber terrorism, including the use of social media for incitement and recruitment purposes.
Malta’s Minister for Home Affairs and National Security, the Honourable Dr. Carmelo Abela, opened the meeting by noting the highly symbolic choice of Malta and the IIJ as respective venue and host of the meeting in light of the Euromed Police IV project’s geographical focus, which seeks to facilitate a common understanding on the threats affecting citizens’ security on both shores of the Mediterranean. Dr. Abela added that the project’s priorities are very much in sync with the security priorities identified by Malta’s EU Presidency.
The IIJ was also pleased to welcome H.E. Béatrice le Fraper du Hellen, Ambassador of France to Malta, and Mr. Pedro Sosa, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Spain, to the opening session. Both France and Spain have played key roles in implementing and supporting Euromed Police projects, and the Government of Spain generously provided funding for the IIJ’s support of the meeting. Also in attendance were representatives from EUROPOL, CEPOL and INTERPOL, and other organizations, which provide essential support and advice to the Euromed Police IV project to ensure the sustainability of the tools and mechanisms developed.