Euregio font
Euregional cooperation
Police cooperation with the Netherlands and Belgium often takes place at Euregio level.

Police in the Euregio

In concept, the word Euregio means an association of European (border) regions.

Euregional cooperation is not only promoted on an economic, cultural and social level, but also in the police force. Along the border between North Rhine-Westphalia and the neighboring countries
Netherlands and Belgium are four such communities:

  • Euregio Rhine-Meuse-North
  • Euregio Rhine-Waal
  • Euregio Meuse-Rhine (EMR)

The EMR is one of the oldest cross-border working communities in Europe and is the most populous of the four Euregios with North Rhine-Westphalian participation. In North Rhine-Westphalia, it comprises the city region of Aachen, the district of Düren, the district of Euskirchen and the district of Heinsberg.

On the Belgian side, the German-speaking Community, the Walloon province of Liège and the Flemish province of Limburg are represented and on the territory of the Netherlands in the south of the province of Limburg. The city region of Aachen borders both Belgium and the Netherlands.

Police cooperation in the EMR is coordinated by the Dutch-Belgian-German Police Working Group (NeBeDeAgPol), a working group of the police chiefs of the police services in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine. Its aim is to improve cross-border cooperation through structured cooperation and the development of joint strategies and techniques.

The so-called regional police liaison offices in the EMR were followed in 2006 by the Euregional Police Information (and) Cooperation Center (EPICC), which operates according to the principle of desks pushed together.

In May 2018, Interior Minister Herbert Reul, together with Dutch Interior Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus and Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon, signed a declaration of intent to set up a pilot project for a Euregional Information and Competence Center (EURIEC) in Maastricht. With the help of the competence center, the fight against organized crime in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine is to be better coordinated. "Criminals don't stop at the national border. That's why we also need to think much more internationally in the fight against organized crime. 'Collect, exchange and act together' is the motto," said North Rhine-Westphalian Interior Minister Herbert Reul.

Representatives from building inspection authorities, customs authorities and tax offices are to work together in the international competence center. The police are to support the cooperation through a comprehensive exchange of data as well as official and enforcement assistance. This could, for example, prevent members of an illegal rocker group from establishing themselves abroad without being noticed. The pilot project is set to run for three years and is supported by funding from the European Commission.

Collaboration between Dutch and North Rhine-Westphalian police officers is also being put into practice at close quarters at the Herzogenrath (NRW) - Kerkrade (NL) joint contact point, which is located in the Eurode Business Center (EBC) building. Here, citizens can contact Dutch and German officers directly with their concerns and questions.

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In urgent cases: Police emergency number 110