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To provide support for the European strategy for crime prevention by encouraging cooperation between the public and private-sector organisations concerned.
Council Decision of 28 June 2001 establishing a programme of incentives and exchanges, training and cooperation for the prevention of crime (Hippocrates) [Official Journal L 186, 07.07.2001].
Communication (2000) 786 final, presented by the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council, aimed at working-out a European strategy for crime prevention. The Union would be equipped with a financial instrument in order to encourage cooperation between public and private-sector bodies. The Commission proposed calling the programme "Hippocrates" after the founder of medicine whose motto was "prevention is better than cure".
A multidisciplinary approach to the phenomenon is essential in view of the complexity of criminal activities and the diversity of Member States' crime-fighting policies. The decision is based on previous experience in managing justice and home affairs programmes such as Oisin, Falcone, Stop or Grotius.
Under the decision, the Hippocrates programme would run from 1 January 2001 to 31 December 2002.
Applicant countries and other third countries may participate in the projects. To be eligible for co-financing, the projects must involve at least three Member States.
The programme may finance specific projects of interest in terms of its priorities, as well as complementary measures (seminars, meetings of experts, dissemination of information).
The programme covers the following types of project:
- exchanges and placements,
- studies and research,
- meetings and seminars;
- dissemination of the results obtained under the programme.
The Commission, in cooperation with the Member States, is responsible for managing and implementing the programme. It will prepare an annual work programme comprising specific objectives and a list of priority measures.
The Commission is responsible for assessing and selecting programmes on the basis of such criteria as the European dimension, scope for participation by applicant countries, complementarity with other cooperation projects and quality of the project in terms of its conception and presentation of the expected results.
A committee to be known as the "Hippocrates Committee", composed of the representatives of the Member States, will assist the Commission. The latter will chair the Committee and may invite representatives of applicant countries to briefing sessions after the Committee's meetings.
The Commission will carry out an annual assessment of the projects. In addition, it will report each year to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of the programme. The first report should be presented by 31 July 2002.
This Decision entered into force on the date of its publication in the Official Journal.