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Simulation exercise on real-time exchange of information on critical infrastructure protection

A real-time information exchange exercise for the Western Balkan region was taking place in Ohrid, Republic of North Macedonia from 12 to 15 September 2021. The exercise is organized with joint coordination and support of the Ministry of Interior of North Macedonia and the OSCE Mission to Skopje with participation of representatives of the relevant institutions of the Western Balkans. The event was opened by the Assistant Director of the Department for Uniformed Police, Mr. Shefik Bajrami who emphasized that the Ministry of Interior of Republic of North Macedonia remains fully committed and works with undiminished intensity and commitment to implement all activities aimed at uncompromised fight against crime.

The project Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans – IPA 2019 Project (CSC WB) was also taking active part in the exercise: two experts of CSC WB are directly participating and gaining on-spot insight of the dealings and actions within the exercise. As a follow up, the experts will draft an analytical report on the real-time exercise. This analysis will highlight good practises, however, also highlighting eventual omissions and improvements to successful tackling challenges of effective information flow through all international and regional channels of police cooperation.

“I would like to express special gratitude to the CSC WB whose representatives will prepare the report on the manner of real-time information exchange, which will represent a kind of a Roadmap for the way forward”, pointed out Assistant Director Bajrami.

On behalf of the CSC WB, the Resident EU Police Officer in North Macedonia, Ms. Elisa Di Ballo noted that the effectiveness of the structures and the organisation of information exchanges within the Western Balkans law enforcement agencies, as well as between agencies within the region, is very important in evaluating current situations and future opportunities, especially in the prospective of a future access of the Western Balkans to the European Union. “In this regard, the project CSC WB, through its experts in the field of information exchange, will participate and provide its contribution to carry out an analysis that allows identifying any strengths and weaknesses of the information exchange activities and continue to build together the foundations for obtaining a future model of success”.