Between 16-17 July UNODC and CEPOL are organizing the “Second Technical Meeting of the National Project Focal Points on the Implementation of the Joint UNODC/CEPOL Project on Capacity Building on Financial Investigations in South Eastern Europe“. The latter will be the second partnership meeting held in the framework of the recently launched joint CEPOL and UNODC two-year capacity building initiative on financial investigations in South Eastern Europe. The project is funded by the European Commission and constitutes an integral part of the Integrative Internal Security Governance (IISG) process, namely its Pillar II on the Western Balkans Combatting Serious and Organized Crime initiative (WBCSCi). The initiative is also part of the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe. Whereas the purpose of the first meeting was to inform the regional participants of the project activities and to raise awareness and enhance the visibility of the project’s activities on the ground, in addition to the dissemination and exploitation of the prospective project results, the aim of this meeting will be to introduce the newly recruited project team members and inform about the recent developments, as well as to present project activities scheduled for the upcoming September.
Between the 28-29 June, UNODC is organizing an Inter-Regional Meeting between South-Eastern Europe and West and Central Asia on Building Partnerships in Countering Illicit Financial Flows, in Zagreb, Croatia.
As the West and Central Asia and Southern East Europe are significantly affected by the drug economy that thrives around opium cultivation and heroin production in Afghanistan, which is smuggled to West and Central Europe through different routes across these regions, with a growing importance of the Balkan route, UNODC together with relevant national, regional and international actors aims with this meeting to appose the Heads of Drug Control Agencies/Offices and Heads of Financial Intelligence Units of the Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbourig Countries and the Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe. The event will allow officials of these regions to meet as a group for the first time and address challenges and prospects for inter-regional cooperation, with a particular emphasis on illicit financial flows, in line with the 2016 UNGASS Outcome document, especially as regards South-South and Triangular cooperation.
On 4th June, the Albanian National Coordinator for Countering Violent Extremism will hold a regional meeting on the topic of countering violent extremism (CVE) with key stakeholders from the region and beyond, entitled “Going Together and in Partnership on Countering Violent Extremism” – Western Balkans CVE Regional Meeting. The aim of the event will be to foster the partnership and cooperation among the WB countries, through raising the awareness on the needs to properly address violent extremism issues, as an irreplaceable component in the package of measures against terrorism.
In specific, the meeting will have two objectives:
- to bring together key regional stakeholders, from policy-makers, representatives from relevant public institutions to civil society, education, and religious representatives, that can directly contribute to the matter,
- to raise awareness on the need to advance in the efforts to develop community-oriented approaches for countering hateful extremist ideologies that cause radicalization, promote recruitment or incite to violence.
Between the 22-23 May, the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union will organize the EU-US Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria. The meeting will serve as an opportunity to continue cooperations between the EU and US, in the fields of justice and home affairs.
For more information about the events under the Bulgarian Presidency please visit their website here.
Between 14-16 May 2018, the Ministry of Interior of Macedonia is organizing a preparatory Security Meeting in Struga, Macedonia. The preparatory meeting will provide an opportunity for the representatives of the Western Balkan countries to prepare for the Fifth Summit within the Berlin Process that will be held on 10th July 2018 in London. They will also address the topic of cooperation in tackling common treats and also exchange information in various areas such as corruption, serious and organized crime, trafficking in human beings illicit drug and firearm trade and other.
Under the BORDAIRPOL II Project funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) for activities, which purpose is to reinforce cooperation of border authorities in the Southeast Europe, the MARRI Regional Centre will, in May 2018, organize the Fifth Annual Meeting, which will be directed to finding the modules on further intensification of cooperation, by seeking the possibilities of initiating protocol on concrete activities of common interest (exchange of police officers among beneficiaries but also seeking the possibilities of signing bilateral agreement on control of different nationalities).
For more information about the BORDAIRPOL II Project please visit the MARRI website.
On the 16th March, the IISG Support Group hosted by DCAF Ljubljana supported by the European Union (“IPAII2016 Regional Action on P/CVE in the Western Balkans”) and the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Slovenia will organize the regional ministerial event Integrative Internal Security Governance (IISG) Board Meeting, under the auspices of the Brdo Process.
The Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) in partnership with the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) is organizing the GCTF Second Regional Expert Meeting in Tirana, Albania, on 5th and 6th February 2018.
The regional expert meeting in Tirana will be the second in a series of four meetings, with a focus on the Balkan region. The aim of this event is to discuss the evolving dynamics of transnational organized crime, the challenges deriving from the constant diversification of its business areas, and its ability to adapt quickly to changing environments and actors. These characteristics allow for the linkages between criminal syndicates and terrorist groups, generating new challenges that often outpace the law enforcement capacity to understand, prevent and counter relevant phenomena. A more nuanced understanding of the interlinkages between crime and terrorism demonstrates the need for new approaches and mutually reinforcing multi-sectoral interventions that engage at local, national, regional and international levels.
The Second Regional Meeting on the nexus between transnational organized crime and terrorism initiative is hosting experts from international organizations (per example Mr. Rajko Kozmelj, IISG Chair and Mr. Leif Villadsen, Senior Programme Officer at UNICRI), national authorities (per example representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands and the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs in Albania), and research centers (per example The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR) and the Centre of Excellence in Terrorism, Resilience, Intelligence & Organised Crime Research (CENTRIC)).
Under the BORDAIRPOL II Project funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) for activities, which purpose is to reinforce cooperation of border authorities in the Southeast Europe, the MARRI Regional Centre will, in January 2018, organize the Fourth Annual Meeting, which objective is to continue with providing the possibility for the Permanent Inter Regional Working Group/Network for Cooperation (PIRWG Network) to discuss topics of mutual interest, exchange information, risk analysis reports, good practices, identify gaps and possible solutions, maintain quality of cooperation, discuss new strategies, coordinate operations and working plans.
For more information about the BORDAIRPOL II Project please visit the MARRI website.
On 4 December 2017, the European External Action Service (EEAS) in Brussels will host a working level CT and CVE Donor Coordination meeting focusing on the Western Balkans.
The overarching objectives of the Conference will be:
- to discuss on the counter terrorism threat,
- to discuss on strategic objectives for counter terrorism activity in the Western Balkans, and
- to discuss of counter terrorism/counter violent extremism capacity building efforts in the Western Balkans, including its successes, challenges and future recommendations.
This event represents the latest in a series of Donor coordination meetings first held in Washington DC on April 19-20 focused on the Sahel and the second in London focus on North Africa. In line with the methodology and practices used in previous meetings this discussion will be aimed at building contacts at working level, and will be chaired by EEAS Head of CT Division, Mr. John Gatt-Rutter.