Reinforcing the European dimension of comparative police research

  • Cyrille Fijnaut


The article describes the background, analyses the situation and explains the relevance of a comparative approach in police research for policing in Europe as such and in particular for police cooperation. It shows that the history of police/policing in different countries in Europe had a strong impact on the development of police/policing in other countries or parts of Europe.
Although in all European countries many reforms of the police system and organisation took place during the last two centuries you can still find police models in several European countries with roots in past history (e.g. the model of the French Gendarmerie). These developments had a major influence on cross-border policing, cross-border cooperation and the harmonisation of policing in Europe.
The second part of the article explains some aspects of the ongoing development in cross-border cooperation. In particular, great importance is given to the development of cooperation in specific areas of policing (e.g. cooperation of traffic police — TISPOL) and special police operation forces — ATLAS) and in a European region (Euroregio Maas-Rhine).
The third part of the article briefly illustrates a future perspective on the Lisbon Treaty (signed by the EU Member States on 13 December 2007, and entered into force on 1 December 2009) and on the report of the ‘High Level Advisory Group on the Future of EU Home affairs policies’ (17 January 2008) and their impact in the field of police cooperation.
The final part of his paper presents an analysis of the situation of comparative research in Europe — with different obstacles — and some ways to facilitate it.

How to Cite
Fijnaut, C. (2017). Reinforcing the European dimension of comparative police research. European Law Enforcement Research Bulletin, (2), 75-84. Retrieved from