21 January 2018, Sunday, 3:35

EU to cooperate with Belarusian police?


The European Union will cooperate with the law-enforcement agencies of the the Eastern Partnership countries.

“The Eastern Partnership Police Cooperation Programme will promote police cooperation on issues related to cross-border crime between the EU and the Eastern Partnership countries and among the EaP countries themselves,” Interfax news agency reports with a link to the EU Delegation to Belarus.

“Trust in law enforcement agencies is one of the cornerstones needed to build a sustainable democracy and we believe that cooperation in the police services can greatly enhance law and order in the countries of our Eastern neighbours. The Eastern Partnership Police Cooperation Programme aims at ambitious but important targets," Commissioner for Enlargement and the European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said.

Füle noted: “Law enforcement reform – including the police reform – is one of the main benchmarks against which the EU will assess progress and adapt its levels of support to our Eastern partners.”

The EU Delegation to Belarus informs that the police cooperation programme includes study tours, exchange programmes, training and meetings to “increase knowledge and skills of Eastern neighbours' police in police management and fight against cross-border crime”.

It should be reminded about last year's scandal relating to cooperation between the German and Belarusian police. German federal police chief Matthias Seeger was dismissed in June 2012. He was accused of having contacts with the Belarusian government.

According to Der Tagesspiegel, the Belarusian law-enforcement agencies were allowed to watch anti-riot actions by the German police in November 2010. The German police used water cannons, tear gas and rubber batons. As many as 500 Belarusian policemen were trained in Germany and Belarus. The German media note that the federal police and the federal criminal police had trained their Belarusian colleagues, including border guards, since 2008. The German Interior Ministry acted in coordination with the MFA. The cooperation started after Minsk “demonstrated a signal for readiness for legal reforms” and had the aim of “promoting democracy and the rule of law”.