Enfast Network and Fast Units – Workshop
The first virtual meeting on Fugitive Active Search Teams (FAST) was held on June 30th 2021 to share best practices and future plans between the Western Balkans and EU partners. Possible strategies to strengthen the police cooperation aimed to trace and arrest serious criminal internationally wanted were discussed as well.
All the Western Balkans FAST Units were given the opportunity to present their teams, including organization, procedures and future perspectives. One of the key points of the discussion was the improving of the information exchange among the FAST Units in terms of quality of the information and security of the channels through which sending them.
In this light, the establishment of a regional FAST network is clearly possible to achieve. This topic is closely linked to the role of Western Balkans FAST Units within the European Network of Fugitive Active Search Team (ENFAST). This network was established in 2010 to boost the effectiveness of the European Arrest Warrant legal framework, substantially the idea was to set up a sort of fast track to exchange urgent and sensitive information aimed to locate and arrest serious criminals. In recent years, ENFAST opened to non-EU countries such as Western Balkans, which were enabled to operate through the network as observers, which means having the same operational capabilities of a member state, except the voting right in the annual General Assembly.
Therefore, the coordination between the FAST activity within the CSC WB project and all Western Balkans partner institutions and the European Network of Fugitive Active Search Team is paramount, as clearly underlined by FAST Spain, the current ENFAST rotating presidency, in the opening remarks. Much appreciated, among others – the intervention of the representatives from the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR), the Police Cooperation Convention for Southeast Europe (PCC SEE) and the Fugitive Investigative Support Unit of the Interpol General Secretariat.
The workshop flyer and the agenda provide further information about the workshop: