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Workshop for Enhanced Cooperation with the Western Balkans within the EU Policy Cycle to Tackle Organised and Serious International Crime

On 5-6 September 2018, Workshop “Enhancing cooperation with the Western Balkans within the EU Policy Cycle to tackle Organised and Serious International Crime – synergies, challenges and ideas” took place in Belgrade.

The event was organised by The Deutsche Gesellschaft fűr Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), Italian Ministry of the Interior and Center for International Legal Cooperation (CILC), and in cooperation with the Integrative Internal Security Governance (IISG) under the IPA 2017 “Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans”. The Workshop was chaired and moderated by the IISG Chair Mr. Rajko Kozmelj, while representatives of the beneficiary’s countries and the AT Presidency to Council of the EU, EU bodies and agencies (DG Near, EUROPOL, CEPOL) and EU Members States (AT, DE, IT, ES) representing relevant Operational Action Plans (Driver, Co/Drivers and Action Leaders) took a part in the event.

This technical and operational meeting was organised with a goal to discuss possibilities for further enhancement of strategic planning activities and synergies between EU Policy Cycle and strategic policy planning efforts in the Western Balkans countries in the framework of the IISG, based on the existing EUROPOL methodology.

The Workshop was an opportunity for the representatives from the Western Balkans countries to become more familiar with and understand the EU Policy Cycle, in order to transfer its main features and good practices into their own national policy cycles for combating serious and organised crime.

Also, all Western Balkan countries’ representatives presented the state of play and their experience with intelligence-led policing model and development of national threat assessments in their respective countries or in the region, as well as on their models and levels of international police cooperation, namely with the EUROPOL.

Since the nature of number of threats is common both for the EU and WB countries, possibilities and options for harmonising of the policy cycles and merging them into one consolidated process which will provide for efficient response to the common threats in a joint and synchronised manner as well as response to small part of those relevant for the Western Balkan Region only.

The event was concluded with the drafting of a set of concrete conclusions and recommendations, which are to be shared with all participants and beneficiaries for review and comments. All participants endorsed the approach and the idea which were the subject of the workshop and expressed their willingness for the continuation of the activities in this field.