11/21/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/21/2023 04:12
Over the next four years, five EU Member States (France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain) and LAC 33 countries, will implement the second phase of the European program EL PAcCTO, engaging main judicial, police and penitentiary institutions from the two regions.
The European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, and the Secretary of State for International Cooperation, Pilar Cancela, during the presentation of the program in Brussels.
Preventing and addressing together the threats posed by transnational organized crime is a common goal for both regions, given its enormous human, social and economic impact in Latin America and the Caribbean as well as in Europe. This is the objective of the European program EL PAcCTO, which is now entering its second phase with the incorporation of the Caribbean states and the Netherlands as the main novelty.
In the first phase of the program (2017-2022), co-led by the implementing agencies FIIAPP (Spain) and Expertise France (France), Latin American judicial, penitentiary and police operators from 12 European countries were involved at the highest level. Among the main achievements of the first phase were the creation of the Latin American Committee for Internal Security (CLASI) and the Policy dialogues on shared goals on justice between Europe and Latin America, the institutionalization of AMERIPOL -inspired by the EUROPOL model- the establishment of joint investigation teams, the creation of 2 regional networks of prison academies, and the implementation of an international protection order for victims of gender violence in Mercosur countries.
"Citizens on both sides of the Atlantic expect their governments to improve the security environment and to combat the threat of international organised crime. This is why Leaders from the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean at the EU-CELAC Summit in July agreed to strengthen cooperation in the area of citizen security. With the launch of EL PAcCTO 2.0 today, we are making a concrete and decisive step in that direction", states the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell.
"Fighting transnational organised crime is a global imperative. With our EUR 58.8 million EL PAcCTO 2.0 programme, Team Europe is joining forces with our Latin American and, for the first time, Caribbean partners to strengthen the rule of law, justice and security systems - in line with what we agreed at the EU-CELAC Summit in July. With a human-rights based approach, we are reinforcing the foundations for more resilient institutions, building on our successful cooperation on both sides of the Atlantic…", European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, said.
"EL PAcCTO has contributed to creating safer and fairer societies on both sides of the Atlantic. Together with other regional projects such as EUROCLIMA or EUROSOCIAL, EL PAcCTO demonstrates that global challenges, such as the fight against inequality and climate change or the creation of safe and fair spaces for our citizens, are a common objective and meeting the SDGs is a collective endeavour," said the Secretary of State for International Cooperation, Pilar Cancela. The second phase of the program will run until 2027.
The main proposal of this flagship security and justice program is to work with institutions along the entire criminal chain, and to do so at the transnational level (organized crime is not limited by national borders) and to promote the creation of regional and bi-regional police, prison and prosecutorial networks. The project will improve expertise, regulations and related policies, applying a human rights approach with special focus on gender, youth, environmental protection and the protection of the most vulnerable people and populations, seeking effective involvement of civil society. It will also facilitate high-level regional strategic dialogues and cooperation in the area of justice and security, consolidating the joint Justice and Security Policy Cycles initiated in the first phase.
In addition to expanding the geographic scope to Caribbean countries, this new phase will focus on strengthening the technical and operational capacities of the institutions involved to curb organized crime in the main criminal markets (trafficking in drugs, human beings, firearms and cultural property, cybercrime and environmental crime).
The launch of the new phase of the project took place within the framework of the Foreign Affairs Council hold on November 21stin Brussels. This commitment was announced at the EU-CELAC summit, organized under the Spanish Presidency of the Council of EU last July, where it was agreed to strengthen cooperation initiatives between the two regions in the field of citizen security and social justice, combating organized crime in all its forms, as well as corruption and money laundering, in particular through capacity building.
Also to prevent and deal with criminal groups involved in the illicit production and trafficking of drugs, firearms trafficking and trafficking in human beings (art. 32 of the summit's final declaration). In September a ministerial meeting was held in Brussels between the 27 and the Latin American Committee for Internal Security (CLASI) - promoted with the support of the first phase of the PAcCTO - in which they committed to continue promoting bi-regional collaboration on security and to establish a calendar of meetings on the subject to consolidate the relationship between the two sides of the Atlantic.