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EMPACT Operational Actions drafted in Tirana, Albania

The Project Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans facilitated an EMPACT Operational Actions (OA) 2023 drafting meeting with the Western Balkans and EU Member States, on 2-3 June 2022, in Tirana, Albania.  The meeting brought together law enforcement officials from the Western Balkans, their respective Liaison Officers to Europol, Drivers and Co-Drivers from EU member states, as well as representatives from the European Commission.

The objective of this two-day meeting was to strengthen the capacities and proactiveness of Western Balkan stakeholders to draft, ultimately implement, and monitor/report on operational actions in close cooperation with EU counterparts, and to strengthen operational cooperation between the Western Balkans and EU Member States. The meeting focused on four priority areas; migrant smuggling, environmental crime, cyber-attacks and organised property crime, and resulted in several draft Operation Actions to be proposed by Western Balkan beneficiaries in a Leadership and/or Co-Leadership role.

EMPACT (the European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats) is a security initiative driven by EU Member States to identify, prioritize and address threats posed by organized and serious international crime. EMPACT regularly appears in the yearly European Commission progress reports on Western Balkan accession to the EU. The EU Council Conclusions 8665/21 and EMPACT ToR 9921/21 stress the importance of close cooperation between EU Member States and third countries to counter transnational organized crime.  In this regard, the project Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans is continuously supporting the proactive involvement of Western Balkan countries in EMPACT related activities.