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Macedonian law enforcement practitioners dig deeper into EMPACT

CSC WB in close cooperation with the Europol National Unit of North Macedonia organized a national workshop for raising awareness about the EU Policy Cycle – EMPACT (“European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats”). Thus, representatives of the national Police, Public Prosecution, the Financial Intelligence Unit, the Customs and the Financial police had the opportunity to exchange their experiences and expectations with experts of Europol, the Spanish, the Italian and the Bulgarian police during a 2-day workshop held on October 6 and 7 in Ohrid, North Macedonia.

The workshop’s goal was to get the national participants well acquainted with the different stages of EMPACT and its vast array of financial and technical possibilities in order to step up country’s active participation in the EMPACT cycle. To that aim, the audience had the opportunity to learn about the EU priorities for the fight against serious and organised crime, the importance of having a national EMPACT coordinator and the EMPACT related funding opportunities available to the Western Balkan countries. In addition, the participants were in a position to exchange on the process of annual planning of EMPACT operational actions as well as the EMPACT joint action days. Finally, the Macedonian participants were able to present and discuss about their national experience in participation in EMPACT activities up until now and draw lessons learnt for the future.

The way forward for the national participation in EMPACT activities was outlined in several workshop conclusions which would be subsequently shared with the hierarchy of the national law enforcement institutions. Main outcomes of the discussions were the endorsement of the need to appoint a national EMPACT coordinator as well as to adopt a more coordinated and systemic approach to the national participation in the EMPACT cycle.

The Head of the Europol National Unit, Ms. Biljana Chadikovska Tunteva stated: “Representatives of law enforcement agencies in the Republic of North Macedonia were encouraged to intensify multi-institutional cooperation and strengthen the strategic and operational approach to activities to combat priority threats by organized and serious international crime, by participating in all phases of the EU Policy Cycle – EMPACT.”

EMPACT is a security initiative driven by EU Member States to identify, prioritize and address threats posed by organized and serious international crime. The project CSC WB strives to support the participation of relevant Western Balkan institutions in the entire cycle of EMPACT activities – from planning to implementation.

Photo Source: CSC WB