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4th IISG Board Meeting

The 4th Meeting of the IISG Board will take place in the afternoon of 18th November 2019 in Skopje, North Macedonia. The event will be organised by the IISG Support Group, and will precede the Home Affairs session of the EU-Western Balkans Ministerial Forum on Justice and Home Affairs. The event will convene IISG Board members, respected ministers of the interior/security of the WB Beneficiaries, IISG Lead Partners, IISG Support Group and IISG Chairmanship – European Commission, DG NEAR and DG HOME. IISG Partners and Observers are also invited. The meeting will be chaired by Mr Maciej Popowski, Deputy Director-General, DG for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, European Commission, IISG Board Chair. The meeting will be dedicated to the ministers’ endorsement of the new IISG Terms of Reference (IISG ToR), and will lay out a new phase of IISG development.

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Council of Europe regional conference on addressing radicalisation in prisons in WB region

During 22 – 23 October 2019, a regional conference in Sarajevo will launch the beginning of a new regional project on addressing violent extremism and radicalisation in prisons in Western Balkans, implemented under the auspices of the Horizontal Facility II Programme for Western Balkans and Turkey, funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe, with a duration of 36 months. It will provide for forum of sharing experience, information and practices among the six HF Beneficiaries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia) on the different approaches in the Western Balkan penitentiary and probation systems when it comes to addressing the issue of radicalisation in prisons.

3rd Meeting of the Regional Network of the National P-CVE Coordinators (RNNC) of the Western Balkans

On 24th April the EUD/ EUSR in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the IISG Support Group are organising the 3rd Meeting of the Regional Network of the National P-CVE Coordinators (RNNC) of the Western Balkans in Tirana, Albania.

The network, established in June 2018 and supported by the EU, will at this encounter be discussing important topics related to P-CVE, based on the conclusions and needs identified at our previous meetings. The meeting will also offer an opportunity to exchange information between its members, the national P-CVE coordinators, as to the implementation of relevant national P-CVE strategies and action plans.

The meeting will be organised back-to-back with two other events, namely:

  • 7th Meeting of the RCC Group of National Focal Points for Prevention and Countering Violent Extremism in South East Europe (NFP Group) on April 23, organised by RCC, and
  • 1st IISG National P-CVE Coordination Meeting – Albania on April 25, organised by IISG Support Group.

EU-Western Balkans Ministerial Forum on Justice and Home Affairs

Between 4-5 October 2018 the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, with the support of Albanian and in close cooperation with the European Commission is organising the “EU-Western Balkans Ministerial Forum on Justice and Home Affairs” in Tirana, Albania.

For more information about the conference click here.

A Waiting Game: Assessing and Responding to the Threat from Returning Foreign Fighters in the Western Balkans

“The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) had published in November 2017 a research report, entitled ” A Waiting Game: Assessing and Responding to the Threat from Returning Foreign Fighters in the Western Balkans” by Dr. Vlado Azinović and Dr. Edina Bećirević from the University of Sarajevo. The study aims to map the needs and provide an assessment of capacities in the region related to the disengagement, de-radicalization, rehabilitation, and reintegration of former foreign fighters.
For more information please visit the website.

1st CT and P/CVE Coordination Meeting with WBCTi Partners

On 14th September, Mr Filip de Ceuninck, EU regional CT adviser, EU Delegation to BiH, hosted a CT and P/CVE coordination meeting in the EU House in Sarajevo. The meeting convened regional CT-P/CVE-Security advisors in the Western Balkan region and other representatives of the following WBCTi partners: Ministry of Security BiH, IOM, Foreign & Commonwealth Office U.K., Embassies of Germany, the Netherlands and the U.K., USAID, NI-CO/WINPRO Project, UNDP, RCC, EUFOR, EEAS, Office of the EU CTC, the European Commission – DG NEAR and DG HOME, and DCAF Ljubljana. The event was organised in close cooperation with the Rule of Law Section, EUSR Office in Sarajevo.

The discussion was mainly focused on new developments and approaches to issues of CT and P/CVE in the Western Balkans. The newly appointed IISG Chair, Mr Rajko Kozmelj (represented also WBCTi Lead Partners DCAF Ljubljana, Austria and Slovenia) gave a presentation of the IISG Board Kick-Off Meeting results and WBCTi developments and its state-of-play. He emphasised the strategic importance and impact that the IISG Board conclusions of 8 Sep 2017 would bear for the internal security and regional cooperation policies. He also presented to the participants the first list of draft priorities for the new WBCTi iPA 2018-2019 and invited again all partners to contribute to the draft list of needs as we are currently developing it into the first draft iPA 2018-2019 and preparing the next phases of needs assessment.

The WBCTi partners provided their priorities related to their planned P/CVE activities and their importance and links with national CT policies. Participants recognised the importance of establishing the “P-R-A” Mechanism and inclusion of existing Referral Mechanism pilot results into the comprehensive P-R-A solution. It is also important to create further synergies between these two important efforts. BiH authorities expressed a strong commitment to achieving synergic action and presented on their plans to establish “P-R-A” Mechanism. Representatives of Ministry of Security, Mr Samir Rizvo, Assistant Minister and Mr Mario Janeček, CT Adviser, invited WBCTi to support them in this challenging endeavour. In this regard, the sharing of information via WBCTi platforms and its website tools for coordination of activities is crucial, with the support of the EU regional CT adviser.

The third focus was placed on the necessity for the coordination among all WBCTi partners in planning and implementing CT and P/CVE actions in the WB region from now on, where the coordination role of the EU regional CT adviser Mr de Ceuninck and the role of the WBCTi Lead Partners (DCAF Ljubljana, Austria and Slovenia) was highly appreciated.

Participants agreed to meet twice per year or more often whenever necessary, in order to contribute to the future implementation and monitoring of the new WBCTi iPA 2018-2019. Meetings will be convened by the EU regional CT adviser in close cooperation with WBCTi Lead Partners.

Support to Prevention and Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) in the Western Balkans

The regional action, funded by the EU instrument IPA II 2016, will contribute to sustainable regional cooperation efforts in the Western Balkans in the area of CT, P/CVE, dealing with phenomena of FTFs and radicalization in the designated period.
The action will assist the WB countries in their efforts by transferring EU good practices and standards. It will further support the setting up of a national inter-ministerial P/CVE platform in each WB country, mirrored by multi-agency co-ordination arrangements at the local level to ensure a top-down and bottom-up approach to P/CVE as well as it will represent a solid and sustainable ground for P/CVE national capacities. Furthermore, the action will provide support to several small-scale actions.

The project is coordinated by DCAF Ljubljana, and the implementation partners are the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Sarajevo, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).