EUPOL COPPS provides representatives of EU Member States firsthand look at work in the field

Members of the EU Committee for Civilian Aspects of Crisis Management ("CivCom")  Committee are visiting Israel and Palestine from 18 to 22 November, giving them a chance to see the impact of EU support to the region firsthand. The trip focuses on the work of the EU’s two civilian Missions in Palestine – EUPOL COPPS and EUBAM Rafah.

While visiting EUPOL COPPS in Ramallah, the group were introduced to most of the Mission’s main counterparts in Palestine’s law enforcement and rule of law agencies, including Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh. “The EU is the guarantor of international law,” said Dr Shtayyeh underlining the role that the EU has in upholding the rule of law internationally as well as supporting rule of law reform in Palestine through EUPOL COPPS.

While meeting the delegates, the Chief of the Palestinian Civil Police, Major General Hazim Attallah stressed the importance of the work done by EUPOL COPPS to promote the primacy of civilian policing in ensuring safety and security in Palestine, including the key support provided in setting up a modern Civil Police in 2006 and since then. “We have a good relationship with our citizens,” said the Chief of Police, “Citizens understand what we are doing and the support of EUPOL COPPS has been very important in this”.

A common theme presented to the group by Palestinian counterparts was acknowledgement of the EU’s support for a two-state solution. Major General Mohammad Al-Jibrini, Assistant to the Minister of the Interior for Security Affairs told the delegation, “We aspire to the highest international standards in the security sector and we are very happy for EUPOL COPPS’ support. We believe that the EU is an integral part of our aspirations for statehood”.

The discussion with the Attorney General Akram Al-kahatib focused on reform of the prosecution service. Among the topics discussed were increasing the participation of women in the judicial system, training a new generation of prosecutors in best practices and the fight against environmental crime.

While in Ramallah, the group also met with four representatives of Palestinian NGOs and human rights organisations, who described many of the challenges they face while going about their work.

As well as visiting Ramallah, the delegation had meetings with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Canadian and British representatives and the Office of the EU Representative in Jerusalem as well as the EU Delegation to Israel and the Offices of EUBAM Rafah in Tel Aviv.