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Historic breakthrough: For the first time missing persons are a priority for all EU Member States

EU-27 put missing persons on the EU agenda after successful joint-effort of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU, the Slovenian Police, PEN-MP and AMBER Alert Europe

For the first time ever, the issue of missing persons has been firmly put on the EU agenda after all 27 EU Member States agreed to Council Conclusions on stepping up cross-border police cooperation in the area of missing persons. This historic accomplishment is the result of a combined effort of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Slovenian Police , the Police Expert Network on Missing Persons (PEN-MP) and AMBER Alert Europe, and serves as the foundation for improved cooperation in the area of missing persons and missing children in Europe.

With the adoption of the Council Conclusions, the EU-27 not only support the Police Expert Network on Missing Persons (PEN-MP), the official European missing persons police network, but also recognises its efforts to improve cooperation on missing persons between law enforcement and private stakeholders or NGOs across Europe.

The PEN-MP will continue to work in close cooperation with the Justice and Home Affairs agencies. PEN-MP activities, including projects fostering closer cooperation amongst law enforcement authorities investigating cases of missing persons, law enforcement training, and cold case projects will be supported by EU funds. Furthermore, the PEN-MP will be at the forefront of the creation of a European internet platform dedicated to the dissemination of missing persons’ reports.

Damjan Miklič, President of the PEN-MP: “As a central initiative of the Slovenian Presidency in the Working Group on Law Enforcement (LEWP), the adoption of a decision of the EU Council on strengthening cross-border police cooperation in the field of missing persons was proposed. The text of the decision was confirmed at a meeting of ambassadors (Coreper) on 24 November and approved on 9 December by the EU Council of Ministers of the Interior after successful a coordination at the LEWP. We estimate that under this Slovenian presidency we have successfully upgraded the operational work and put the field of work of missing persons on the map of the European security architecture for a higher level of human security in Europe.”