Catalonia – Spain meeting on security to be held for first time in 8 years
Catalan police Mossos d’Esquadra are expected to be further integrated in antiterrorist coordination efforts at a Spanish and international level
Catalan and Spanish governments are to hold a bilateral security coordination meeting this Monday. It will be the first one in 8 years, after the last one in March 2009, and it will take place after two years of insistence from the executive government in Barcelona. The Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, will chair the meeting, which will also be attended by the Spanish minister of Home Affairs, Juan Ignacio Zoido, along with his Catalan counterpart, Jordi Jané.
The Catalan police, the Mossos d’Esquadra, expect to be further integrated in the antiterrorist coordination efforts at a Spanish level. In fact, over the few months the government in Catalonia has demanded that the Mossos be included in the Spanish Intelligence Center against Terrorism and Organized Crime, and also the Coordination and Evaluation Board for Terrorist Threats, led by the ministry of Home Affairs in Madrid.
The meeting on Monday at 4.30pm CEST will also explore to what extent Mossos d’Esquadra plays some role in international security coordination.
The Catalan minister of Home Affairs, Jordi Jané, and the European police union Eurocop expressed outcry last month at the fact that the Basque police had been granted access to the Europol database and not the Catalan force. “A large part of the border territory between Spain and France is in Catalonia, and the Mossos d'Esquadra, the Catalan police, is the competent authority, so it's only normal that it has access to Europol forums,” said Eurocop president, Àngels Bosch, to ACN.
In the meeting to be held this Monday, a work group to enable access is expected to be created. In addition, discussions are planned on how to grant permission to the Mossos to enter another country by land if they are chasing a fugitive, as provided by law in the Schengen Agreement. Catalonia borders France and they are connected by several roads and a highway, AP-7.
In this bilateral security coordination meeting, Spain will verify how many police officers Catalonia has hired and funding from Madrid. As the last such meeting was held in 2009, this procedure has not been done in 8 years and the Catalan executive estimates that they are owed €500 million in funding.
The meeting comes after yet another clash between both governments, who were unable to set a date for months, despite the fact that the terrorism alert in Spain is at level 4 out of 5. The Catalan executive government claims that it proposed nine dates to hold the meeting before Puigdemont unilaterally set July 3 as the date. The Spanish minister of Home Affairs originally claimed that he had no availability for that day, but immediately sought an alternative with his Catalan counterpart.