EUPOL COPPS Acting Head of Mission Meets with Palestinian Anticorruption Commissioner in Ramallah
The Acting Head of Mission Karin Limdal met with the Palestinian Anticorruption Commissioner, Raed Radwan. The Commissioner mentioned three main challenges: the severe restrictions upon freedom of movement that impact the attendance of the staff, the last months’ salaries not being paid, and the impact on the regularity of the daily work by the employees with relatives in Gaza. The AHOM underscored the importance of continuing delivering security and justice to the Palestinian people despite the ongoing crisis and to use EUPOL COPPS, as a visible evidence of the EU’s support to the PA, in this endeavor, including in preparing for the day after tomorrow. The Commissioner expressed his gratitude for the commendable and long-standing support of EUPOL COPPS, including in for developing the witness protection program and facilitating the gender audit.
EUPOL COPPS Community Policing and PPIO teams together with the PCP distribute a number of “living kits” to the Deaf Secondary Boarding School - Ein Munjed, Ramallah
Earlier today, EUPOL COPPS Community Policing and PPIO teams handed over a number of “living kits” to the Palestinian Civilian Police (PCP) in the framework of the community-oriented policing activities constantly implemented by the PCP. Following the brief handover ceremony at EUPOL COPPS HQ , the activity continued at the Deaf Secondary Boarding School - Ein Munjed, Ramallah where the Director - Ms. MHuryya Safi – welcomed EUPOL COPPS and the PCP, who in turn delivered an awareness lecture for approx. 60 children with special needs. The living kits where then distributed to the pupils of the school. A very successful joint community policing activity demonstrating the continuing support of EUPOL COPPS to our counterparts and beneficiaries, despite the current challenges in the region.
EUPOL COPPS Acting Head of Mission holds meeting with the PCP Chief of Police
Today the EUPOL COPPS AHoM Karin Limdal met with the Chief of Police, Major General Yousif Al Helo in Ramallah. They discussed the main challenges under the current circumstances such as lack of funds to pay the salaries for the PCP and the severe restrictions to the freedom of movement. They agreed on the importance to keep the focus on delivering security today and tomorrow despite the current crisis situation and to deepen the already planned cooperation in the months to come, including strategic advice on where the PCP could put particular focus in the current situation.
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, visits EUPOL COPPS Mission in Ramallah
Earlier today, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, visited EUPOL COPPS as part of his current tour of the Middle East and the Gulf. Meeting Mission Members, the HR/VP learned more about the Mission’s mandate implementation. EUPOL COPPS has continued to execute its mandate despite the current challenges, providing constant support to our Palestinian counterparts.
Meet our Head of Security Sector Reform Section
Despite the turbulent times here in the Mission Area and beyond, EUPOL COPPS very recently welcomed our new Head of SSRS (Security Sector Reform Section). Our Finnish colleague Kai joined us from Finland. Kai has served in the region before, also within EUPOL COPPS, and as a Mission, we are very fortunate to have him back in our midst. PPIO spent some time with Kai to get to know him a bit better, and we would like our audience to get to know him too. Tell us a little about yourself (nationality, professional background and experience and expertise) I come from Finland. I am a serving police officer with over 33 years of professional experience of which 17 years in senior management level. My current job is in the National Police Board which is the supreme command of Finnish police. My special responsibilities are the strategic management of national K9 activities, national procurement and budgeting of protective gear and weaponry and Nordic countries uniformed policing co-operation. I’m also one of the supreme command national duty officers. My background contains experience from almost all aspects of policing: uniformed policing, criminal investigations, technical surveillance, immigration and weapons administration, all in both operational and supervisory positions. I have worked as a teacher in the Police College of Finland teaching operational leadership and management. I have also worked as a head of drug investigations department of the Finnish Customs. On an international perspective I have lived away from Finland for some time of my life. As a child I lived in Australia for five years, one year in Saudi Arabia and two years in Iraq. After that I spent one year in the USA as an exchange student. As an adult I have spent one year in South Lebanon in the UN peacekeeping mission. In 2011-2012 I was seconded to the USSC Ramallah -mission as a senior police advisor with the responsibility of assessing and validating the Intermediate Leaders Course for the PA security forces. And my latest secondment here was 2016-2017 when I was the senior police advisor for community policing. So in a way my current post as the Head of SSRS seems to be a logic continuation. My expertise is widespread and I have a good understanding on almost all aspects of policing as well as their interconnectivity and dependence. I have management and leadership skills of both police and civilian personnel. Explain your portfolio here at EUPOL COPPS My post within EUPOL COPPPS is the Head of Security Sector Reform Section (SSRS). The job description contains the leadership and management of the section as well as providing expertise in the issues needed. Within SSRS, I am very fortunate to have an excellent team of Police Advisors coming from all sectors of expertise. What do you enjoy most about working in the Region, given that this is not your first experience here? The people are very friendly and hospitable and easy to talk to. For a Finn (we are mostly regarded as mute) this is very refreshing and on the other hand also slightly intimidating! I am intrigued by the history and complexity of the region. The historical sites all around the region tell stories of different times and reigns. I see them as monuments of the rise and fall of eras. I also think that the landscape is one of the most beautiful in the world, in all of its ruggedness and with all its different features from the northern mountains to the rolling hills towards the Dead Sea, the Mediterranean seashore and deserts towards the Gulf of Aqaba. What are the challenges you anticipate facing, and how, in your view, may they be overcome? I think we are witnessing the greatest challenge in EUPOL COPPS history at the moment. The situation has dramatically and sadly taken a horrendous turn in the past days and weeks. Despite the challenges, we as a Mission continue to implement our mandate with our counterparts, notwithstanding the trying times we find ourselves in. It comes as no surprise that the focus of our counterparts is very much on the current situation. However, life needs to continue and it is clear that most of the people want stability and safety in life. I believe that EUPOL COPPS, together with our counterparts are making a grand effort in making this possible. How will this challenge be overcome is a million dollar question… I believe we need to “keep on keeping on” and try to think about the “day after”. When this is over the time will come for reconciliation and stabilisation. In my perspective we play an important role. Every individual EUPOL COPPS family member has her/his part to play in supporting the communities and people. PPIO: Kai, thank you very much for granting us this interview! It is indeed a pleasure to welcome you back to EUPOL COPPS. Within the PPIO Team, we are proud to work alongside you and the SSRS Team, and sincerely look forward to building upon our excellent collaboration.
Meet our Deputy Head of Mission and Chief of staff
Against a sad and concerning backdrop, and its ensuing challenges, we are thrilled to introduce our new Deputy Head of Mission and Chief of Staff, Karin Limdal. Hailing from Sweden, Karin is a CSDP expert and recently commenced her second tour of duty here at EUPOL COPPS. PPIO sat down with Karin to get to know her further. Tell us a little about yourself (nationality, professional background and experience and expertise) I’m a Swedish secondee with a husband and son currently based in Rome but with my heart and home in Verona. I’m passionate about civilian CSDP as an important tool in the EU Foreign Policy toolbox, to increase our own security within the EU but also among our partners. I’ve worked in different capacities in several CSDP and non-CSDP missions, in the EEAS and at the European Centre of Excellence for Civilian Crisis Management for the past 20 years. Explain your portfolio here at EUPOL COPPS As the DHoM/Chief of Staff it is my job to make sure to “oil the machinery” so that the Mission can deliver on the mandate given by the EU 27. In that, and while supporting and deputizing the HoM, I will make sure that proper procedures and processes are in place and to promote a conducive working environment among other things. What do you enjoy most about working in the Region, given that this is not your first experience here? The hospitality of the Palestinian people. As crazy as they are behind the wheel, they are exceptionally friendly and helpful to their guests. We are truly fortunate to work with counterparts with whom we enjoy a relationship of trust. What are the challenges you anticipate facing, and how, in your view, may they be overcome? To insert enthusiasm and energy among colleagues after almost 17 years on the ground, in a worsening security situation, not least in recent weeks. This can partly be overcome by giving people space and independence and show them that you trust them. This makes people grow and shine in my opinion. Freedom under responsibility is something that I try to live by as a manager, until proven otherwise. Another challenge is to maintain EUPOL COPPS as a relevant and unique partner among many other actors within the Security Sector Reform and Justice sectors. There the Mission needs to focus on what is really their strength of a physical presence on the ground since 2006 with the proper peer to peer support where our experts work side by side with the counterparts on the Palestinian side. No other international entity or project can offer the same sort of support and assistance in that sense. PPIO: Karin, thank you so much for taking the time to carry out this interview. Even in the short and somewhat tumultuous time that you’ve been in the Mission, the enthusiasm of having you back is very hard to miss! We are very much looking forward to working with you, and you can be assured of our support.
Meet our Senior Police Adviser -Institutional Development - Human Resources
In our interviews so far, we’ve encountered a number of EU colleagues, as well as a Turkish colleague. Nevertheless, here at EUPOL COPPS, we are also fortunate to have two Canadian colleagues forming part of our Security Sector Reform Section (formerly named the Police Advisory Section); Canada being one of the three Third Contributing Countries to EUPOL COPPS. Our dear colleague Shelly has been with us for over a year. Always ready with a helping hand, our counterparts not only benefit from Shelly’s long years of experience and expertise, but also her kind and soft spoken approach. Tell us a little about yourself (nationality, professional background and experience and expertise) Thank you for this opportunity. I have over 35 years of policing experience with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada’s National Police Service and 5 years’ experience as a Vancouver City Police Reservist. As a result, I have been afforded many opportunities that have provided me with a diverse background of experience, ranging from serving in Indigenous/Diverse communities, at Municipal, Provincial and National levels and at various ranks. This has provided me with comprehensive experience in multiple fields of expertise. I have worked at the strategic, tactical and operational levels throughout my career and have been afforded the experience to develop and work with strategic frameworks at Provincial/Federal government levels in Canada. I have a comprehensive back ground in a variety of specialties in policing: General Duty Policing, Crime Scene Analysis, Community Policing, Crime Prevention/Crime Reduction, to name a few. All from operational, tactical, philosophical and strategic perspectives; as well as extensive knowledge of Police Administration, Conduct and Human Resources practices and procedures. At a Federal level in Canada, I was seconded to the Office of the Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-status Rights (now Indigenous and Northern Affairs). I worked on and participated in the development of multi-jurisdictional social programs for Indigenous peoples at both the Federal and Provincial levels. Cultivating and fostering strategic long term partnerships was a critical component of achieving success. Prior to arriving in Mission, I was the acting Criminal Operations Officer in New Brunswick. In this role I was responsible for all operational, tactical and police operations responses in the RCMP jurisdictions of New Brunswick, including Gold Commander (Critical Incident Command) during a national incident. My substantive position was the Officer in Charge of the RCMP North-East District in New Brunswick. There, I was responsible for the operational and administrative policing functions for one third of the Province. I had a team of 181 employees. My area of responsibility consisted of 10 detachments, 5 Indigenous communities, approximately 99 communities/villages, with a land radius of approximately 20,000 square miles. I have a Masters in Consitutional Law and Certficate in Human Rights law. Explain your portfolio here at EUPOL COPPS During my nearly year and a half in Mission, I have been holding the following portfolios: Institutional Development - Human Resources In this portfolio, I have been actively working with my counterpart on the development of individual performance assessments. This project is being piloted in Jenin and Bethlehem, and will train unit leaders on supervision and performance indicaters of their team members. Accountability The project in this portfolio started with a baseline study of public complaints and was done in conjunction with my counterpart in the Grievance and Human Rights‘ Department. The project is in phase 4 of 7 phases. Field visits to police detention/holding cells have also been conducted to look at their processes. The Palestinian Police Women’s Network I was honoured to be part of the original organizing group for the conference held in May 2022, and since that time I have been the portfolio lead, assisting the 25 founding members to develop their Terms of Reference, elect their Board Members and assist with their official launch in January 2023. To date they have organized their application processes, logo and communication, whilst work is continuing on their annual plan. What are the challenges you face, and how, in your view, may they be overcome? At times I found it difficult when other international stakeholders are working on same or similar projects and there was no communication or coordination. This has been overcome by cultivating and fostering relationships/partnerships, along with increased communication. What do you enjoy most about forming part of EUPOL COPPS, and about working in the Region? I most enjoy the people here, my counterparts in the region, as well as my colleagues from around the world who join me here in the Mission. The Region is filled with so much history, that prior to arriving here, it was a bit of a mystery to me; however now seeing and hearing from the people here, as well as forging what I believe will be long lasting frienships, the history and culture have come alive for me. It truly is an honour to be here working alongside my colleagues and with our counterparts.
Meet our Planning and Policy Advisor
Seeing a colleague sporting a Turkish uniform in the corridors of an EU CSDP Mission is not an everyday sight. Nevertheless, with Turkey being one of the three Third Contributing Countries to EUPOL COPPS, we are fortunate to have our dear colleague Ozkan in our midst. Always with a ready smile, Ozkan’s friendly approach is never failing. Despite his years of experience, Ozkan’s humility makes him an asset within the Mission, and we are fortunate to call him a colleague and friend. Tell us a little about yourself (nationality, professional background and experience and expertise) My name is Ozkan Baran and I am a National Police Officer from Turkiye. My rank is 2nd Degree Police Chief Superintend or Police Colonel. I have been a member of the Police Advisory Section at EUPOL COPPS since June 2022, where I am the Police Adviser for Planning and Policy. Turkiye is one of the third contributing countries to this Mission, together with Norway and Canada. I have more than 26 years of policing experience, both at the national and international levels. I managed many administrative and judicial responsibilities back in my country. On the international scene, I have been posted within the United Nations Missions in Kosovo and in Haiti and the NATO Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, and at the Turkish Embassy in Bangkok/Thailand. I have much experience on combating against human trafficking, drugs, illicit goods and weapons; armed robbery; counterfeit and money laundering and serious/organized/transborder crime investigations as well as planning and capacity building areas. I am currently the only Turkish Police Officer working in the mission area. I am very proud of being here in the Palestinian Territories and assisting the Palestinian Police both in their present responsibilities as well as in preparation for their future. Something that makes me very happy is the warm welcome of both our local counterparts as well as the Palestinian population, which certainly makes my work more pleasant. Explain your portfolio here at EUPOL COPPS Within the Police Advisory Section, I am the Police Adviser for Planning and Policy. Essentially, this means that my role is to assist the Palestinian Police improve the safety and security of the Palestinian population, as well as to support the Palestinian Civil Police reform and development, not least by contributing to the PCP Strategic Plan for the coming years. What are the challenges you face, and how, in your view, may they be overcome? I am very happy to be here and working with very professional Mission Members from EU Countries. Working with different colleagues hailing from varied cultural understanding and different working habits of law enforcement only serves to enrich my experience. The Mission is taking an important role to make the Palestinian Territories more stable and secure and also to improve the Institutions under Palestinian ownership. I am here to support them in assisting in the building of their institutions. Being part of this Mission is a great opportunity and I enjoy all my time working with my international colleagues and Palestinian counterparts, in addition to enjoying the close and warm relationship with the Palestinian citizens during our activities. What do you enjoy most about forming part of EUPOL COPPS, and about working in the Region? I consider myself fortunate not to face many serious challenges during the daily execution of my responsibilities. Of course, being far from home and my family sometimes causes a degree of stress, as expected. However, the plus side is that, these days, long distance communication has definitely made our lives easier. A special thanks goes to my wife for always handling all kinds of challenges back home, in my absence. I would like to end by wishing all the very best to my local counterparts and Palestinian citizens, as well as a safe and secure return back home to all my international colleagues. PPIO: Ozkan, many thanks for taking the time to grant us this interview. Your positive approach and outlook are undoubtedly examples for all of us to follow!