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The European Police College (CEPOL)

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The European Police College (CEPOL)

The purpose of Council decision 2005/681/JHA is to improve the functioning of the European Police College (CEPOL). It confers upon CEPOL the status of EU agency, financed from the general budget of the European Union. CEPOL is a cooperation network linking national police training institutes. Its objective is to develop a common approach to the issues of crime prevention and the fight against crime through training, the setting-up of harmonised programmes and dissemination of best practice


Council Decision 2005/681/JHA of 20 September 2005 establishing the European Police College (CEPOL) and repealing Decision 2000/820/JHA.


CEPOL was initially set up by a Council Decision 2005/681/JHA. Further to a report on its first three years of operation ,in its conclusions of February 2005, the Council called for improvements in the functioning of the (CEPOL): it was considered that CEPOL could operate more effectively if it were financed from the general budget and if the Staff Regulations of officials of the European Communities and the Conditions of employment of other servants of the European Communities applied to the staff of CEPOL. This decision establishes a European Police College as the successor to the CEPOL, which was set up in 2000. The decision confers on CEPOL the status of an agency financed from the budget of the European Communities. It lays down transitional measures on general legal succession.

On 16 July 2014, the Commission adopted a proposal for a Regulation reforming CEPOL's legal framework, repealing and replacing the existing Council decision. The purpose of the proposal is to align the agency's regime with that of other decentralised agencies and to entrust it with the implementation of a new training approach for EU law enforcement, consistent with evolving priorities for operational police cooperation.

Organisation of CEPOL

CEPOL takes the form of a network of national training institutes for senior police officers. It is administered by a Governing Board and a Director. A general secretariat carries out the administrative tasks.

The Governing Board is made up of directors of national training institutes. Each national delegation (consisting of one or more directors of national training institutes) has one vote on the Governing Board. Representatives of the General Secretariat of the Council, the Commission and Europol may take part in meetings of the Governing Board as non-voting observers.

The Governing Board shall act by a two-thirds majority of its members, except as regards the draft budget to be submitted to the Commission, which requires unanimity. It adopts programmes, training modules, common learning methods and the CEPOL annual report. It also adopts the decision appointing the Director.

The Director is appointed by the Governing Body from a list of at least three candidates. He is responsible for the day-to-day management of CEPOL. He also implements the budget, maintains contact with the relevant services in the Member States and coordinates implementation of the work programme. He is subject to the Staff Regulations of officials of the European Communities and the Conditions of employment of other servants of the European Communities.

The Secretariat assists CEPOL with administrative tasks and with implementing the annual programme. The staff of the Secretariat is subject to the Staff Regulations of officials of the European Communities and the Conditions of employment of other servants of the European Communities.

CEPOL enjoys legal and contractual capacity. The Director of CEPOL is its legal representative. The seat of CEPOL moved on 1 September 2014 from Bramshill, UK, to Budapest, Hungary. This was decided by the European Parliament and the Council in Regulation (EU) No 543/2014.

Financing CEPOL from the EU budget

CEPOL is financed by the EU budget. The expenditure includes staff, administrative, infrastructure and operational expenses. By 31 March each year at the latest, the Governing Board adopts the draft budgetary estimate and forwards it to the Commission and to the budgetary authority (the European Parliament and the Council) together with the preliminary draft budget of the European Union. The budgetary authority decides on the final CEPOL budget.

Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 May 1999 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) applies without restriction to CEPOL. CEPOL abides by other provisions on the fight against fraud such as interinstitutional agreements in the area.

This Decision applies from 1 January 2006. Every five years from that date, the Governing Board shall commission an independent external evaluation of the implementation of this Decision.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Council Decision 2005/681/JHA



OJ 256 of 1.10.2005


Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EU) No 543/2014



OJ L 163 of 29.5.2014


Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a European Union agency for law enforcement training (Cepol), repealing and replacing the Council Decision 2005/681/JHA [COM(2014) 465 final of 16.7.2014].

This proposal seeks to:

  • extend CEPOL’s mandate so that it can support, develop, deliver and coordinate learning activities for law enforcement officials of all ranks, as well as customs officers and other authorities dealing with cross-border crime;
  • focus CEPOL's work more firmly on those crimes which cause the most harm to citizens and which need cross-border cooperation the most;
  • update and clarify CEPOL's objectives, to encourage the development of regional and bilateral cooperation among the Member States; and
  • task CEPOL to develop and regularly update learning tools and methodologies to strengthen the skills of law enforcement officers in a lifelong learning perspective.

Last updated: 11.08.2014