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PCC SEE Meeting of Heads of Criminal Police: Security Challenges Related to Rising Migratory Flows, Serious and Organized Crime and Contribution to IISG Action

Tirana, Albania – Since the second half of 2017, several Western Balkan countries have been noting a steady increase in migratory pressure and the emergence of a new Adriatic Route. In order to properly address this issue and the forms of serious and organized crime relevant in this context, the Integrative Internal Security Governance (IISG) Support Group has launched an IISG Action to Mitigate Migratory Challenges and to Prevent a 2nd Western Balkan Migration Crisis. Under the framework of this action, the aim of the so-called IISG Rapid Reaction Plan for the period July 2018 – July 2019 is to coordinate a regional approach to migratory pressures and occurring forms of serious and organized crime, find synergies with IISG Partners, as well as form joint answers to the needs of the Western Balkan region and of Europe as a whole.

The PCC SEE Meeting of Heads of Criminal Police, held under the auspices of the Albanian PCC SEE Chairmanship-in-Office in Tirana on 1-3 October 2018, brought together the Heads and representatives of the criminal police departments from all PCC SEE Contracting Parties as well as observers and Partners of the 2nd IISG Pillar “Western Balkan Counter Serious Crime initiative (WBCSCi)”. Following a complementary approach and with the aim to align relevant capacities and activities of IISG Partners, the meeting served as an opportunity to exchange good practices and lessons learned, discuss opportunities for utilising the PCC SEE operational tools, especially the provision of exchange of officers presented through the experience of the Joint Operational Office in Vienna, as well as to explore the need for further measures with regard to dismantling criminal networks involved in migrant smuggling and other forms of serious and organized crime, as well as the prevention of violent extremism relevant in the context of migration flows.

Adding to the efforts already undertaken by DCAF Ljubljana in the framework of the 3rd IISG Pillar “Western Balkan Border Security initiative (WBBSi)”, the meeting resulted in the identification of specific needs of the IISG Beneficiaries’ Criminal Police to be reflected in the IISG Rapid Reaction Plan and properly addressed with concrete activities and support of the IISG Partners.

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