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Workshop on SOCTA questionnaires and methodology held in Tirana

On May 10th a workshop on “The relevance of strategic analysis – SOCTA questionnaires” was organized by the project Countering Serious Crimes in the Western Balkans – IPA 2019 (CSC WB). It took place in Tirana, Albania, with the aim to improve the beneficiaries’ skills for strategic analysis, SOCTA methodology and process and SOCTA questionnaires. The workshop involved Albanian State Police representatives, both analysts and operational police forces, that are in charge of filling in the SOCTA questionnaires.

Albania has already developed its own methodology in compliance with Europol’s indications and in 2020, has elaborated its own SOCTA. In this context, the workshop served as an advanced tool towards further strengthening the capacities of the law enforcement agencies of Albania to jointly conduct strategic and operational criminal analysis in an EU-harmonized manner and in line with Europol’s SOCTA methodology.

The strategic analysis process, EU SOCTA 2021, Europol’s methodology and related questionnaires were elaborated in full during the workshop. Also, practical examples were provided on how to fill in Europol’s questionnaires and analyze organized criminal groups and the level of threat, putting the focus on the relevant indicators to be used by the analysts.

Ms. Anna Marinelli, CSC WB Component Leader of the project’s output, highlighted the following: “A very significant aspect of the event was the participation of analysts from both operational and analysis units, a joint effort of the ASP that provided a broader expertise and, though, a more effective response against organized crime that, undoubtfully, represent an added value.”

Mr. Vito Ingrosso, Major in the Italian Europol Unit at the International Police Cooperation Service, expert on the topic, highlighted: “A very fruitful meeting where the ASP involved not only in the investigative analysis but also in the operational field, of Albania were present, which demonstrated how important it is to continue to operate in the fight against organized crime and criminal organizations, from an analytical and strategic point of view, where the operational aspect cannot be separated from a clear, effective, efficient analysis methodology that adheres to the economic, social and cultural reality of a Nation and of Europe as a whole.”

Additionally, Ms. Francesca Varlese, the Programme Manager for International Cooperation Projects in the Rule of Law area, at the Delegation of the European Union in Albania, also emphasized the strategic and operational importance of SOCTA analytical report: “SOCTA report provides a comprehensive future-oriented picture on the state-of-play related to criminal priorities and organisations. This is why an effective and complementary collaboration between several EU MS and third countries’ institutions, bodies, agencies and organizations (public and private) is indispensable to assess future threats to the EU’s internal security and strategically plan law enforcement operations for the fight against transnational organized crime that Albania faces together with Europe”.