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EMPACT Workshop for Task Force WB held in Durres, AL

The project “Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans (CSCWB) – IPA 2019” organised the EMPACT workshop for Task Force Western Balkans (TFWB) jointly with the Action Leader Austria in Durrës, Albania, on 20-21 June, 2023.

The workshop brought together representatives of criminal, border and migration departments from  Western Balkan countries, EU member states, third countries such as UK and Switzerland, as well as EU agencies – Europol and Frontex. Following the kick-off workshop in Budva of the Operational Action TFWB, which took place in early 2023, during the Durrës workshop, the representatives had the opportunity to exchange views on how to set-up and consolidate a permanent 24/7 intelligence and operational structure, including a rapid response mechanism.

During the first day of the event, a series of working groups and plenary discussions were specifically dedicated to organisational aspects of the national 24/7 and exchange of information structures. The second day focused on concrete case studies and table-top exercise to test the workflow of early warnings and emergency response mechanisms in place in every TFWB participant country. Following the presentations from each participant, the representatives from EU agencies, Western Balkans, EU member states, and third countries discussed concrete future strategic and operational steps to have a permanent TFWB 24/7 structure and rapid response mechanism.

The project CSCWB IPA 2019 is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Italian Ministry of Interior (IMoI) and the Center for International Legal Cooperation (CILC), co-financed by the European Union, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Italian Ministry of Interior. Its 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.