Meeting of National Counter-terrorism coordinators of the WB6 in Sarajevo
On the 11th of October, the Regional Network of National Counter-Terrorism and Preventing / Countering Violent Extremism Coordinators of the Western Balkan Six (RNNC) held its 12th meeting in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The meeting was chaired by the EU Regional CT/Security Advisor Mr. Filip De Ceuninck and Assistant Minister of Security of BiH Ms. Ivana Veselčić. Together with the local authorities – the National Coordinators and their colleagues – all relevant EU services were attending the meeting: EEAS, The European Commission’s DG HOME and DG NEAR, the EU CT Coordinator’s Office and the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) of the EU.
After the opening words of Mr. De Ceuninck and Ms. Veselčić, the present National Coordinators presented updates on the current state of play of the implementation of the national CT P/CVE strategies and action plans in their respective countries. Furthermore, the forum discussed the implementation of the six bilateral CT arrangements and the support to the WB authorities in their activities on resocialisation, rehabilitation and reintegration (RRR) of returning foreign terrorist fighters and their families, what is considered as priority by all sides. The National Coordinators elaborated on the progress achieved, challenges faced, the strategical and operational way forward. The representatives of the EU CT P/CVE relevant services then also gave their input.
In the last session of the meeting, the relevant projects which cooperate with the national authorities in the field of Counter-terrorism also presented their respective work: the regional project Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans, the Integrative Internal Security Governance (IISG), the regional project on RRR by IOM, the regional GCERF project on RRR, as well as the regional network WB PaCT by CEPOL.
The RNNC as a forum is characterized by a strong cooperation between all national, regional and international members – the interactions between the EU funded projects and the beneficiaries are increasingly feeding into national strategies of countering terrorism and preventing and countering of violent extremism. Further development and implementation of the Joint Action Plan for terrorism in the WB, based on the renewed CT Dialogues remains a priority for the Western Balkans and the EU, as stated during the meeting.
The meeting was supported by the regional project Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans, which is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Italian Ministry of Interior and the Centre for International Legal Cooperation (CILC), co-financed by the European Commission (DG NEAR), the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development German Government (BMZ) and the Italian Ministry of Interior. The main objective is to strengthen the cross-border cooperation to counter serious and organised crime in the Western Balkans with institutions and networks of the EU.