The European Union has decided to upgrade the assistance it provides the Palestinian Authority and, starting January 1, will deploy a police mission - code-named EUPOL-COPPS - to the Gaza Strip and Palestinian territories. The mission, which will have a three-year mandate, will assist in the implementation of the Palestinian Civil Police Development Plan, advise and mentor senior members of the Palestinian Civil Police and criminal justice system and coordinate EU and additional international assistance to the Palestinians. The mission will be comprised of 33 unarmed personnel, mainly from EU member states, and will not have executive powers to make arrests or conduct other police work in PA territories. EU officials said the mission would advise and train the Palestinian Civil Police from its senior level down to the cops on the street. The upgrade in EU assistance was designed to help the PA "in taking responsibility for law and order and, in particular, in improving its civil police and law enforcement capacity," a report on the mission stated. Seven EU police specialists are currently deployed in Ramallah, where they work out of the Palestinian Interior Ministry. The group, led by an Irish law enforcement expert, has visited numerous PA police stations and has advised police on how to improve their service.