With more than 300,000 individuals reported missing in the European Union every year, the need for a unified approach is more pressing than ever. The Spanish EU Council Presidency, a rotating position held amongst the 27 EU countries, has scheduled a pivotal law enforcement event on October 25-26th, 2023, titled “Good Practice Guide for Missing Persons.” This event – according to the Spanish EU Council Presidency aims to foster dialogue, promote existing tools, and share best practices among Member States, marking a substantial step towards the creation of a European Centre for Missing Persons.
The National Centre on Missing Persons (CNDES) of the Spanish Ministry of the Interior has been at the forefront of coordinating missing persons and missing children-related issues for Spain, both nationally and internationally. The efforts of CNDES, encapsulated in their 2022-2024 Strategic Plan on Missing Persons, serve as a robust model for the envisioned European Centre. CNDES’s efforts include managing the Spanish national missing persons registry, providing training, developing best practices, research, prevention campaigns and aiding in disseminating alerts concerning missing persons. CNDES also coordinates the Spanish AMBER Alert for missing children. And recently participated in AMBER Alert Europe’s prevention campaign on missing children.
The Spanish initiative regarding the creation of a European Centre for Missing Persons aligns with the 2021 Common European Approach on Missing Persons and Missing Children by AMBER Alert Europe Foundation and PEN-MP, the Police Expert Network on Missing Persons. The proposal for a European Centre for Missing Persons is a big step forward that builds on the 2021 Slovenian EU Council Conclusions on Stepping Up Cross-Border Police Cooperation in the Area of Missing Persons. The Centre could serve as a hub for Member States to share best practices, enhancing their collective ability to respond swiftly and efficiently to the myriad of challenges surrounding missing persons.
AMBER Alert Europe’s Chairman Frank Hoen expresses strong support for the initiative, stating, “Spain’s proactive approach and CNDES’s hard work on this are a big step forward. We commend the Spanish Presidency’s drive to tackle this issue and kickstart conversations on creating a European Centre for Missing Persons. The high number of missing persons and the deep impact on their families make this centre crucial. We hope this will ultimately lead to a hub for coordination, knowledge, training, research, technology, and best practices. Supporting police forces in all EU member states.”
The upcoming event on October 25-26th is a hopeful step towards a unified European approach on missing persons, bringing together the collective efforts of the Spanish EU Council presidency, CNDES, and other stakeholders in the EU.
For more information about the proposal for a European Centre for Missing Persons, please visit the Spanish EU Council presidency website on: