30/12/2009 Public Security Service of the Republic of Lithuania – partner of European gendarmerie force.
It is becoming increasingly noticeable that in a complex crisis management process, particularly in post-conflict period, strengthening of a civilian element, capable of operating in special and difficult conditions is essential. Recent trends in Iraq and Afghanistan show examples of the growing importance of such a force. European Gendarmerie Force, as a crisis management tool, set up in five European countries, is ideal for such tasks.
In October 2004 in the presence of President of the Council and the common foreign and security policy representative, Mr Solana, Noordwijk-e (The Netherlands) the Defense and Interior Ministers meeting was held. During the meeting, French, Italian, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese ministers signed a declaration on the establishment of EGF. Signing this declaration, representatives of the police and the Gendarmerie Forces from all European Union countries expressed their support. Lithuania was represented by Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Stanislav Liutkevicius (the then Deputy Commissioner-General of Police). On the 20th February 2006 the then Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Mr Liutkevicius officially requested cooperation with the European Gendarmerie Force.
European Gendarmerie Force includes French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and Romanian gendarmerie-type forces. Polish Military Gendarmerie is a partner of these forces. Turkish gendarmerie has been granted an observer status until a decision on membership status is made. In Vicenza city in Italy there are permanent operating EGF headquarters where delegated officers from EGF countries work.
Officers of these forces, if necessary, can be deployed for crisis management during the times of peace and war. They may be subordinate to the civil and defense institutions. They have been set up on the initiative of the Council having regard to modern threats and crisis management features. The officers serving in these forces have given their oath and are always ready for service. Use of these forces is effective not only in man-made civil crisis, but also in cases of natural disasters. They can carry out restoration of public order, maintenance and other policing functions in adverse conditions. It was found that at the EU Council's decision these forces would be ready to deploy the combination of 800 officers within 30-day period in any country in the world, and by the second phase extending their forces up to 2300.
Though young enough, this international organization is valued positively. This year, NATO invited the European Gendarmerie Force to the mission in Afghanistan and commended the relevant national law enforcement training and officers that are going to the mission training functions.
Public Security Service and the European Gendarmerie Force have been cooperating since 2006. In the period of several years Public Security Service has been tested and evaluated both theoretically and practically. In 2008 PSS officers took part in two European Union law enforcement agencies "EUPFT 08 'exercise sessions in France, the national gendarmerie training center in Saint-Astier city. One officer successfully represented the Service in the training within Operational Management Division. That same year, PSS headquarter officers took part in the European Gendarmerie training ‘EGEX 08’. During the training a potential PSS contribution to the EGF international mission in a third country was established.
In 2009 PSS was involved in the training of the European Union's law enforcement bodies "EUPFT 09" in Italy, the Carabinieri training center in Vicenza.
On the 13th May 2009 for the first time PSS was officially presented in EGF Interdepartmental Committee meeting in Paris. In June 2009, EGF multinational Advisory Group evaluated PSS practical combat readiness in Lithuania. After the wide-ranging evaluation, Public Security Service has been recognized as likely to join the European Gendarmerie Force.
Partnership with the European Gendarmerie Force will allow Lithuania and the Public Security Service to contribute to building a safer world taking part together with the international forces in missions that will encourage improvement in the identified challenges and the quest for good experience in other European Union countries