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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: European Union (EU)
3 July 2013

EUPOL COPPS - Police and Rule of Law Mission for the
Palestinian territories

Mission's Mandate

EUPOL COPPS is a European Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) mission based and operational in the West Bank. It is part of the wider efforts of the European Union in support of Palestinian state building in the context of working towards a comprehensive peace based on a two-State solution. The Mission assists the Palestinian Authority in building the institutions of a future State of Palestine in the areas of policing and criminal justice under Palestinian ownership and in accordance with the best international standards. EUPOL COPPS supports the reform and development of the police and judicial institutions so as to increase the safety and security of the Palestinian population in line with the domestic agenda of the Palestinian Authority in reinforcing the rule of law.The Mission promotes “Civilian Police Primacy”, meaning that the Palestinian Civil Police (PCP) should be the main law enforcement agency for the Palestinian population, leading efforts on upholding law and order. The objective of EUPOL COPPS is to support the development of the Palestinian Civil Police by advising and closely mentoring the PCP, and specifically senior officials at District and Headquarters level. The Mission also coordinates and facilitates external donor assistance to the Palestinian Civil Police (PCP).

EUPOL COPPS also supports the development of a sustainable criminal justice sector, which complies with international human rights standards. The mission aims to assist the Palestinian Authority to develop and consolidate the entire criminal justice system (“from police to prison”), to build professional capacity within the judicial institutions, enact modern legislation, and facilitate other activities to ensure their enhanced performance.

Mission's Structure

EUPOL COPPS has three operational pillars: a Police Advisory, a Rule of Law and a Programme Section. All Sections are comprised of experienced police officers, magistrates and experts from EU Member States and non­EU contributing countries, such as Canada. Close cooperation between the Sections takes place through various thematic groups.

Police advisors provide modern policing expertise to their colleagues in the PCP in several domains (Criminal Investigation, Uniformed Police, Support and Oversight). Field police advisers also work with their PCP counterparts in different police districts throughout the West Bank to ensure that capacity-building efforts reach all Palestinian police officers.

In the Rule of Law Section, European and Palestinian legal professionals, including prosecutors, judges, prison experts, human rights specialists and lawyers, work together to provide technical and legal advice to the different justice institutions, such as the Ministry of Justice, the Courts, the Prosecution, the Correction and Rehabilitations Centres Department as well as the Bar Association of lawyers and the Independent Commission for Human Rights. The Section contributed to the preparation of the Justice and Rule of Law National Strategy 2011-2013 and has assisted the Ministry of Justice, High Judicial Council and Attorney General's Office to develop institutional strategies and action plans.

Programme Section, through the so-called programmatic approach, provides technical advice and training to the Mission and national counterparts to ensure an effective development and implementation of capacity building interventions. The section has particularly contributed to review the Palestinian Security Sector Strategy and the development of several PCP strategic plans. The Section also acts as technical advisor to the Security Sector Working Group (SSWG) and the Justice Sector Working Group (JSWG).

Some Mission Achievements

EUPOL COPPS acts as a key channel for the efforts of the EU and the wider international community, in its area of responsibility, to improve the situation on the ground and obtain practical results. The Mission has gradually shifted its emphasis from equipping counterparts and providing other forms of immediate assistance to institutional development and capacity building during the past two years.

Palestinian Civil Police

Since its creation in 2006, EUPOL COPPS has been working with the Palestinian Civil Police, which comprises approximately 7,800 officers in the West Bank. The Mission provides continuous support to the PCP through several funding and coordination mechanisms. Additionally, the Mission is emphasizing national ownership of all PCP activities by supporting its attempts to lead organizational development processes.

Programme Steering Committee

EUPOL COPPS has supported the creation of the Programme Steering Committee to enable the PCP and the Ministry of Interior to improve the coordination of project-based assistance in accordance with the objectives formulated in the relevant strategic plans. The Mission continues to provide the PSC with technical advice and administrative support through the PCP/EUPOL COPPS co-location office.

Palestinian Anti-Corruption Commission

The Mission remains the main provider of support to the Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) and the specialised Crimes Corruption Court (CCC), created in 2010.

The Code of Conduct on the Use of Force and Firearms

The Minister of Interior has recently adopted the Code of Conduct on the Use of Force and Firearms” for all Palestinian Security Forces (PASF) to which EUPOL COPPS provided significant support.

Public Prosecution-PCP Cooperation Project

Under an initiative promoted by EUPOL COPPS, the Chief of Police and the Attorney General signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in August 2010 to improve cooperation between police and prosecutors in criminal investigations. Mechanisms to coordinate more openly and effectively have been established at the district level, and agreement describing the tasks and responsibilities of the police and prosecutors in the crime scene has been designed. Two other agreements on how to increase the amount of investigative work carried out by police and how to collect evidence at the crime scene are currently under construction.

UNDP/EUPOL COPPS Joint Programme

Signed on 1 December 2011, the EUR 2.4 million Joint Programme between UNDP/EUPOL COPPS and the Palestinian Authority is based on rule of law and respect for human rights and aims at strengthening internal police accountability, national anti-corruption efforts, gender equality, the oversight role of civil society in democratic governance and preparation for statehood.“EUPOL COPPS is an expression of the EU's continued readiness to support the Palestinian Authority in complying with its Roadmap obligations, in particular with regard to 'security' and 'institution building' (...). Furthermore, the support of the EU to the Palestinian Civil Police aims at increasing the safety and security of the Palestinian population and at serving the domestic agenda of the Palestinian Authority in reinforcing the rule of law.”

COUNCIL JOINT ACTION 2005/797/CFSP of 14 November 2005 on the European Union Police Mission for the Palestinian Territories.

The European Union's Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) includes the gradual framing of a common defence policy which might in time lead to a common defence. The CSDP allows the Union to develop its civilian and military capacities for crisis management and conflict prevention at international level, thus helping to maintain peace and international security, in accordance with the United Nations Charter. The CSDP includes a strong conflict prevention component.

Based in Brussels, the Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC) is the permanent structure responsible for an autonomous operational conduct of civilian CSDP operations. Under the political control and strategic direction of the Political and Security Committee and the overall authority of the High Representative, the CPCC ensures the effective planning and conduct of civilian CSDP crisis management operations, as well as the proper implementation of all mission-related tasks.

More information and background documents available on: and

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