The Hellenic Police performed a particularly significant task during the Greek Presidency of the European Union during the first half of 2003.
The role of the Police was doubled-sided in the context of the Greek Presidency. It related both to hosting all Greek Presidency events in a secure environment, an issue of major national importance, and the participation of the Hellenic Police in European Union Working Groups.
More specifically, its tasks included:
– Hosting events in a secure environment
The Hellenic Police ensured that the 15 informal council meetings, the European Council Meeting and the signing of the Enlargement Treaty in Athens in April 2003 and the European Council and Summit in June in Halkidiki, as well as all other informal meetings, conferences, congresses, seminars and miscellaneous events took place in an environment of absolute safety.
In carrying out this task a total of 49,764 police officers were deployed. More specifically, 31,055 police officers were deployed on public order duties, 8,998 on road traffic duties and 9,711 on security duties. Overall, staff worked 245,133 working days. Moreover, 6,087* vehicles were used, helicopters were deployed in 23 cases, magnetic gates – thermal cameras – portable transceivers – and other technical equipment and police dogs were utilized in 2,253 cases.
* Some of vehicles were used more than once
In order to ensure the safe hosting of the Greek Presidency`s most important events, the Hellenic Police designed and implemented a new cross-sectoral collaboration model with the main security agencies (the Armed Forces, Fire Brigade, the Coast Guard and the National Intelligence Service) under a uniform command structure topped by the Hellenic Police leadership.
A model of collaboration similar to the one to be implemented during the 2004 Olympic Games was developed and implemented.
In effect the Hellenic Police was on trial both in terms of operational planning and implementation and showed that it can guarantee that major events can be hosted safely in Greece.
– Participation in Working Groups
The Hellenic Police participated in 23 European Union Working Groups on matters ranging from terrorism and illegal immigration to asylum and organized crime.
In particular, officers representing the HPFHQ:
– Chaired 9 working groups dealing with issues such as asylum, borders, forged documents, EUROPOL, terrorism, police collaboration, Schengen Information Systems, and the SIS Information System`s technology;
– Jointly chaired 2 working groups on the EU Working Group Coordination Committee (Article 36 Committee) and the Cross-Sectoral Group on Organized Crime;
– Participated in 9 Working Groups on issues such as the Schengen Acquis, asylum and immigration, drugs, visas; and lastly
– Chaired or participated in 3 Top Level Groups (European Police Chiefs Task Force, Europol Management Board and Police Academy Directors).
Moreover, the Hellenic Police organized or jointly organized 12 meetings among officers and 7 seminars in the context of the Greek Presidency. These seminars were attended by police officers and representatives of the Ministries of Justice and Home Affairs of EU Member States, candidate countries and non-Member States.
Ministerial Level Meetings:
– Informal Meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers, Veria, 28-29/03/2003;
– Meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers of the EU Troika with the countries of the Western Balkans and the candidate countries of Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey, Thessaloniki, 22/03/2003;
– Ministerial Meeting in the context of the Budapest (ICMPD) Group, Rhodes, 25-26/06/03.
Top level meetings:
– Task force meeting of EU Member State Police Chiefs, Crete, 19-20/05/2003;
– 31st Meeting of Management Board of EUROPOL, Rhodes, 10-11/04/2003;
– European Police College (CEPOL) – Governing Board, Alexandroupoli, 04-05-06/03/2003;
– European Police College (CEPOL) – Governing Board, Corfu, 11-12-13/05/2003;
– EU Working Group Coordination Committee (Article 36 Committee), Kastoria, 15-16/05/2003;
– Seminar for the Police Associations Network on combating illegal immigration attended by representatives of EU Member States, Athens, 12-13/02/2003;
– SIS-TECH Working Group, Xanthi, 03-04/04/2003;
– European Network for Preventing and Combating Crime, Athens, 24-25/02/2003;
– European Network for Preventing and Combating Crime, Athens, 5-6/06/2003;
EU Co-financed seminars:
– Seminar in the context of the PERICLES Action on Euro counterfeiting, Thessaloniki, 06-07-08/01/2003;
– Seminar in the context of the OISIN II joint action on police surveillance missions, Athens, 27-28-29/01/2003;
– Training course in the context of the OISIN II joint action on exchanging information between National SIRENE Offices, Rhodes, 19-20-21/05/2003;
– Seminar in the context of the FALCONE joint action on drugs – Balkan routes, Athens, 10-12/02/2003;
– Seminar in the context of the AGIS joint action on combating international terrorism in relation to major sporting events, Athens, 10-11/04/2003.
Ministry of Public Order Financed Seminars:
– Seminar on stolen vehicles, Athens, 22-23/04/2003;
– Seminar on juvenile delinquency and drugs, Athens, 10-11/06/2003.