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Macedonian EMPACT coordinator and CSC WB project pave the way for future cooperation

The recently appointed National EMPACT coordinator (NEC) of North Macedonia, Mr. Zafircho Panchev, met the Embedded Country Team of the project in Skopje, North Macedonia on January 11, 2022. Mr. Panchev, who is leading the Sector for Crime Investigation within the Department for Suppression of Organized Crime of the Police, assumed the function of NEC partly as a follow-up of the National EMPACT workshop organized by the project in October 2021. It was at this workshop that the national Law Enforcement Agencies jointly recognized the need and urgency for the appointment of a national coordinator who would ensure a strategically coherent and operationally coordinated approach to the national participation in EMPACT activities.

At the meeting, project representatives presented all elements of the upcoming CSC WB support fostering proactive participation of police and other law enforcement agencies in the EU policy cycle. Mr. Panchev welcomed all EMPACT related activities while stressing the importance of aligning national SOCTA priorities to the relevant EMPACT Operational Action Plans. He was especially pleased to learn about the incoming expert support and exchange of relevant experience in terms of the establishment of fully functioning and efficient NEC offices. Lastly, both sides pledged to continuous and constrictive cooperation in support to the Macedonian involvement in EMPACT Joint Action Days.

EMPACT is a security initiative driven by EU Member States to identify, prioritize and address threats posed by organized and serious international crime. CSC WB supports the efforts of Western Balkan Law Enforcement to actively participate in European Union Policy Cycle while observing relevant national priorities in countering organized crime.