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SEPCA WORKSHOP No2 – Network of analysts

Following the first workshop held in September 2021, the representatives of the South East Europe Police Chiefs Association (SEPCA) Member States held the second workshop on November 1-2  2021 in Podgorica, under the Montenegrin SEPCA Presidency-in-office.

Providing competent authorities with concrete insights to utilize effective international police cooperation tools for analysing, preventing and combating major criminal organizations by updating the SEPCA Threat Assessment document is one of the guiding priorities of the workshop.  In this context, the first results from the work of the analysts of the SEPCA countries was characterised as crucial in defining the first chapter of the SEPCA Threat Assessment which is expected to have a crucial impact on the future SEPCA development.

The projects Countering Serious Crimes in the Western Balkans – IPA 2019 (CSC WB) and ATHENA 2[1], both led by the Department of Public Security – Central Directorate of the Criminal Police of Italy provided support for organizing the event, working hand-in-hand with the Montenegrin Police Directorate. Back in May 2021 during the SEPCA First Annual Assembly under the Montenegrin Presidency Mr. Carlo Verdiglione, project leader on behalf of the Italian Ministry of Interior stressed the readiness of the CSC WB to support the SEPCA members, aiming at increased international cooperation.

[1] ATHENA 2 – project action aiming at ensuring effectiveness to the police joint activities managed by the Schengen Countries, through a tailored plan of operations, monitoring and analysis which will proactively support a more coordinated risk assessment. This 24 month-activity will provide a proactive training program (through the use of CEPOL ad-hoc platform), along with an exchange of staff program. It will also improve the training availability in the medium/long term in favor of LEAs officers employed at the border areas. The project partners (Bulgaria, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Romania, Slovenia and SELEC) will involve their neighbors/partners, including the Western Balkan Countries, ensuring proper dissemination of good practices and wider sharing of experiences. Joint investigation Teams, cross border observations and joint patrols in border areas will be financially supported by the ATHENA 2 project.  The ambitious goal of the project is the strengthening of mutual trust among EU and neighbor countries to reduce the requests of temporary internal border checks.