Between 7 – 8 November 2017, the WBCTi team will be engaged in the execution of the next foreseen workshop in the series of national workshops under the auspices of the Slovenian-led project First Line. The workshop in Tirana will bring together all relevant stakeholders on P/CVE in Albania, discuss the state-of-play and outline next steps for the realization of agreed policy recommendations. The Project First Line focuses on the establishment of national comprehensive inter-agency mechanisms to prevent and address violent extremism and radicalization leading to terrorism in the Western Balkan countries.
The national workshop for first line practitioners dealing with the prevention and countering of Radicalisation leading to Violent Extremism and Terrorism was announced by the leadership of the EU-supported Project “First Line” led by the Slovenian Ministry of the Interior-Police. The project is a crucial effort in the Western Balkan region working on establishing national P/CVE platforms to enable an efficient multi-agency approach to P/CVE, learning from EU good practices and improving prevention and preparedness in the 6 Beneficiaries.
The “First Line” Project is also a core process taking place within the IPA II 2016 Action on P/CVE to be coordinated by DCAF Ljubljana, as well as of the WBCTi. The IPA II 2016 will fully consider the achievements of the First Line Project, and continue, after the expiry of the Project, building on the national platforms in the WB Beneficiaries to be mirrored by arrangements established and sustained at the local level.
The two-day project workshop will involve counter-terrorism experts from Slovenia, other EU Member States (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic), including eminent representatives of the academia and research community. It will focus on root causes and trigger factors, incl. with vulnerable groups and returnees, on policing activity at the local level to prevent radicalisation leading to violent extremism, on indicators of radicalisation leading to violent extremism and their proper contextualization, and look at practical cases encountered.
The conference was held in Tirana on 11th November 2016, and was organized by RCC Sarajevo, PCC SEE Secretariat, First Line project and the Albanian Ministry of Internal Affairs. It brought together the members of the three regional platforms, operating under the auspices of the WBCTi and representing the political level (incl. external dimension), policy level (law enforcement and intelligence), and police operatives, respectively: the RCC Group of National Focal Points on Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism leading to Terrorism and Foreign Terrorist Fighters in South East Europe (NFP CVE-FTF Group); the Police Cooperation Convention for South East Europe (PCC SEE) Counter-Terrorism Network, and the operational-level network of the Slovenian-led Counter-Terrorism Initiative (CTI). The conference was also attended by the European Commission, the US, OSCE, UNODC, UNDP, SELEC, Europol, Interpol and some other important actors in this area of security cooperation. The WBCTi Chair Rajko Kozmelj made a presentation on the current state of play, and future actions envisaged within the scope of the initiative. He also referred to the WBCTi Integrated Plan of Action 2015-2017, emphasizing the importance of better coordination, communication and prioritization of actions within the three different levels of the WBCTi policy management: political (RCC), strategic (PCC SEE) and operational (CTI).
Joint Meeting of the SEE Cooperation Networks in the Area of CT and CVE under the auspices of WBCTi, Tirana, 11 Nov 2016 – (Photo: RCC Sarajevo)
The aim is to improve the early exchange of intelligence at the international level, introduce unified international standards for the investigation and prosecution of the criminal offence of terrorism, and guarantee secure and lawful exchange of personal data. Specific project objectives:
- enhance capability for recognising main threats and aspects which promote radicalisation;
- assist in better understanding of international/EU best practices and policies dealing with radicalisation and recruitment;
- raise awareness at the strategic and systemic levels, thus enabling the relevant stakeholders to use the measures for identifying the triggering factors of radicalisation;
- support countries to be able to identify their own potential, competent stakeholders and their role;
- transfer best practices developed with an array of approaches, lessons learned and practices when they are appropriate for targeted countries,;
- enable regular exchange of information via the SIENA network (i.e. Europol’s Secure Information Exchange Network Application) and the exchange of best practices, modi operandi in operational best practices via the CTI network.