Sunday, 30 November 2008

Abduction Alert adopted by the EU.


The European Union Justice Ministers, meeting yesterday in Brussels, analysed and adopted the conclusions from the simulation exercises organised by France with other member States.

The document, prepared by French Presidency of the EU, invites the member States to set up and develop national systems for alerting the public in cases of criminal abduction of children, according to the tested model, which is based on the experience of the Parisian authorities who have obtained convincing results.

According to the conclusions of the "Abduction Alert," exercises, the member States are once again called upon to describe methods for implementation, allowing the cross-border launching of national operations. For the setting up of and the development of these operations, the member States must draw inspiration from good practice established by the European Commission.

The Portuguese "Abduction Alert" system follows the French model.

In Portugal, according to the Justice Minister, Alberto Costa, the "Abduction Alert" system - following the French example - will be put in place before the end of the year. The Portuguese version of the rapid child abduction alert system provides for close collaboration with the neighbouring Spanish authorities .

If the creation of a European alert sytem had already been a work in progress for European institutions for several years, during the Portuguese Presidency, from January to July 2008, the matter became one of the Portuguese government's priorities, which the French Presidency, with Rachida Dati took forward.

According to the Portuguese minister, Alberto Costa, the Portuguese abduction alert system brings about better collaboration between the Public Minister, the PJ, every sort of media and other instruments of mass communication.

The Portuguese rapid alert system against child kidnapping, whose setting up has been allocated to the Deputy National Director of the PJ, Pedro du Carmo, will be a system which in having internal application, will be compatible with other systems already existing, or to be available, in the EU.

"The McCann couple did a public relations exercise in trying to appropriate an already ongoing initiative. (Of the Parliament.)"

The accusation was made by the deputy, Carlos Coelho, a member of the Christian Democrats group at the European Parliament and party colleague of President Barroso. The Eurodeputy knows what he's talking about, because he was amongst the 54 deputies who had adopted, in committee, the European strategy on the subject of childrens rights, a document approved in January 2008 after several years of work.

(Video of Carlos Coelho, speaking on this subject, is available on the SOS Madeleine McCann web site.)

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