On the 3rd and 4th of March 2021 the IISG Secretariat organized in Prishtina, Kosovo* the Regional Pillar

Support group meeting on WBCTi (Western Balkan Counter Terrorism initiative) .
The IISG Support Group (SG) initiated the first in the series of 3 Pillar meetings to deliver first mapping products within 6 months from the 5th IISG Board Meeting organized on the 2nd of February 2021. This meeting gathered participants from IISG SG technical level, to discuss the first time the “needs mapping” report for WB. The 5th IISG Board approved the “needs mapping” methodology and the IISG membership methodology which allows for broad

EU (Western Balkan Partners) participation to the IISG Process. The needs mapping methodology did not include the templates on which the list of priorities, objectives, measures and actions have to be enumerated for three pillars. This meeting served to IISG SG to discuss and decide on the template on WBCTi.

IISG Secretariat presented the four pillar approach, (Anticipation/Prevent/Protect/Respond) and provided comments and feedback coming from IISG Western Balkan Six during the previous meetings (December 2020 and January 2021. Support Group Members were kindly asked to comment the four pillar (EU Model) approach and the importance of considering the holistic approach to this process. Western Balkan Six Partners were invited to discuss and comment for objectives of the four proposed pillar approach on WBCTi and to propose the calendar events to the end of the needs mapping report.

All participants agreed with the four pillar proposal and their objectives. Western Balkan Six Partners will follow with their list of needs per each measure.

IISG Secretariat did comment the rules as prescribed on the approved methodology and did guide towards the unsettled methods of having the SG for each pillar to work and to conclude on each pillar products. Professional discussions on developing template will give a clear understanding on what the Pillar Working Groups (WG) are required to achieve and how the contributions have to be provided and combined from both sides of the same SG, beneficiaries and those who are supporting  the Western Balkan Six on the processes. This as a step, it is foreseen on the ToR. Meanwhile, clear guidelines of contributions and responsibilities are needed to be in place for the process.

It was noted from IISG Secretariat the importance of having a proactive presence from IISG Partners at any pillar such as:  Slovenia, Austria, Italy, UK, OSCE (B&H) and GIZ who all agreed on the agenda and the proposed draft of the template.

Slovenia and Austria proposed to participate as the leading partners for the pillar. Having discussions on the “mapping responses” methodology, while participants discuss the needs mapping template does help in a deep and good understanding of the whole IISG idea as an ACTION.

On the 5th of May 2021, the IISG SG will discuss the first draft of the needs mapping report and the meeting was proposed to be co-hosted in Skopje, North Macedonia.