History of CESP


Founded in 1988 in Avila (Spain), the European Council of Police Unions represents police officers from 14 countries of Europe. In 1991, it was officially recognised by the Council of Europe as a Non-Governmental Organisation with a consultative status and is a member of the Joint Commission of the NGO since 1998.

The CESP is the outcome of a project to create a European Union Space for polices and from this, came an agreement to form an independent organisation when the opening of borders became a reality.

It appeared necessary to the founders of the European Council of Police Unions to organise various ideas to harmonise police and judicial structures from within a credible and representative organisation. This vision of the future of Europe is, before everything, an economic necessity and concerns each European citizen by the new regulations coming from it, and the effect they will have on freedoms. At the heart of the debate of course, is the security that each State must ensure its citizens and which must also be considered at European level.

In the absence of institutional responses, one of the objectives of the European Council of Police Unions is to be a professional force to make propositions in all types of crime enforcement.

The European Council of Police Unions, independent and profoundly attached to the principles of the Declaration of Human Rights, makes constructive claims towards the European institutions and national governments. It is working to implement real police co-operation free from political considerations. The free circulation of people must not in any way allow a country to become a sanctuary for different sorts of criminals. The guarantee of individual freedoms will exist because of this co-operation.

Likewise, the European Council of Police Union is attached to the idea that trade-union freedom in the police should be respected in every country of Europe. Police trade-unionism must be a necessary counter-power to avoid abuse of the police by a government. The activity of police trade-union organisations must also have a pedagogical role, and show that the police do not only have a role in the suppression of crime, but also in guaranteeing citizens’ rights.

During its Second Congress, celebrated at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg in November 1992, the European Council of Police Unions ratified the European Charter of the Police Officer, and presented it to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in order to obtain a directive.

The III° Congress held at Budapest (Hungary) in March 1996 and gave to CESP a new breath: the adoption of new statutes, reflections closer the policemen professional worries.

The IV° Congress of the CESP held in Athens in March 1999 ,on this occasion it has fixed several objectives at the time where Europe builds all days. One of them is to participate actively to the creation of a judicial and police European space.

It claims the right to make hear the voice of its 280 000 professionals of the security, on the ground every day and confronted with the functioning problems that harm to the efficiency of police of Europe.

The Executive Committee held in November 1999 at Sofia (Bulgaria) has been the opportunity to see the issue of a stamp, commemorating the 10th birthday of the CESP, published by the Bulgarian Ministry of the telecommunications. This meeting has equally been marked by the update of the European Charter of the Policeman.

The city of Berlin has welcomed the Executive Committee of the CESP organised by the BDK on 26 and 27 September 2000, the theme was ” The European police of the XXI° Century “. This study that just begins aims to examine the recruitment, the training and the job of the policeman, essential actor of the debate of our society.

The Executive Committee held at Alicante (Spain) – from 19 to 21 October 2001 – on the theme ” The Police in a European space of liberty and security”. It has been the opportunity to salute the memory of Miguel Martin PEDRAZ, former President of the SPP, member founder and former President of the CESP dead in May 2001.

The CESP has used for the 1st time of its right of Collective Complaint against Portugal for the wrong application of the article 5 and the article 6, paragraph 2 of the European Social Charter with regard to policemen of the Portuguese Public Security (Complaint n° 11/2001, declared receivable by the Committee on 17th October 2001).

From 10 to 12 May 2002, the city of Oporto (Portugal) has welcomed the Executive Committee on the theme “The organisation of the police force to guarantee the European security” – The conclusions need a real political will to organise EUROPOL under the form of an operational structure of European criminal investigation in close relationship with an European judicial organisation of the EUROJUST style and not to limit the former only to the exchange and collection of criminal information.

The European Council of Police Trade Unions (C.E.S.P), has held its 5th Congress at Strasbourg from 14 to 16 November 2002, placed under the patronage of Mr Walter SCHWIMMER, Secretary-General of the Council of Europe. Its theme was:

“The European Citizenship by the Liberty, the Security and the Justice”.

Some 100 participants have elected a new Executive Bureau extended to seven members and have endowed with new statuses.

This meeting has seen the family of the CESP enlarged with the adhesion of the Lithuanian policemen, represented by the L.P.T.U. – Lithuanian Police Trade Union –

This Congress has been the opportunity to remind the attachment of the CESP to the norms of the Council of Europe, that are the European Convention of the Human rights, texts concerning the Police and notably the European Ethics code of the Police (Recommendations 10/2001 of 19th September 2001).

May 2003, the CESP was registered on the list of the Bureau for Workers’ Activities (ACTRAV) of the International Labour Office at Geneva (OIT).

On 9th and 10th May, the Executive Committee met in Nicosia (Cyprus). One subject of the meetings was the theme of the Human Trade for Sexual Exploitation (Trafficking),

The membership of the Dutch trade-union, Algemene Nederlandse Politie Vereniging (ANPV), was warmly approved by the members, thus bringing to 19 the number of member organisations of the CESP.

CESP Brochure

CESP Presentation