SPOC Heads Meeting – Western Balkans represented for the first time
For the first time since the establishment of the network of SPOC Heads (Single Point of Contacts) the heads of the international police cooperation offices of the Western Balkan area participated during the SPOC (Single Point of Contact) meeting in Ljubljana, Slovenia, during 28th and 29th October. The initiative for enhancing the official cooperation with the Western Balkans colleagues came from the synergy effect between the project Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans – IPA 2019 and Athena2.
The importance of participation of the Western Balkans SPOC was highlighted by the fact that one working day was dedicated to a reflection on the state and strengthening of international police cooperation in the Western Balkan area, as one of the objectives of the current EU Presidency.
Each Western Balkan representative was able to illustrate the progress of the work for the establishment of contact points for the exchange of information for international police cooperation in the context of the obligations required by the pre-access phase in the European Union.
The North Macedonian representative presented the outcome of an exercise held in Ohrid from 13 to 15 September 2021 which saw the participation of experts from the police and prosecutors from five Western Balkan Beneficiaries in a simulation of a terrorist attack to a critical structure.
Furthermore, the Slovenian EU Presidency produced a situation report on the adoption of the so-called Police Cooperation Code, which aims to harmonize the regulatory framework on police cooperation, confirming the intention to include in the drafting of the law a provision that aims at the establishment of SPOCs at national level by defining minimum criteria for coordinated implementation.
This outcome will constitute a first fundamental step towards the harmonization of the structures intended for the role of Single Point of Contact for the exchange of information for the purposes of international police cooperation.
Photo source: IMoI