National workshop for raising awareness about EMPACT in Serbia
The Project Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans in close cooperation with the Serbian Ministry of Interior organized a national workshop for raising awareness about the EU Policy Cycle – EMPACT (“European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats”). Thus, representatives of the Ministry of Interior/Police, Public Prosecution, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management and the respective organizational units within the Ministry of Finance had the opportunity to exchange their experiences and expectations with experts of Europol (EMPACT Support Team), the Belgian and the Italian police during the first day of the workshop held on March 21st in Belgrade, Serbia. On the second day of the workshop held on March 22nd a separate meeting was organized between the Serbian EMPACT working group and representatives of the Italian National EMPACT Coordinator’s (NEC) Office and the deputy NEC of Hungary on the NEC organisation in EU MS and practices in Serbia, in parallel to a meeting of the Serbian Single Points of Contact (SPOCs) for each EMPACT priority that Serbia has signed up for. The SPOCs first worked in groups and then received a presentation from the National EUROPOL Contact Point on different experiences with EUROPOL and EMPACT tools.
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 the 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. Finally, the Serbian participants were able to present and discuss about their existing experience in participation in EMPACT activities and draw lessons learnt for the future.
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 proactive participation of relevant Western Balkan institutions in the entire cycle of EMPACT activities – from planning to implementation.