Extended cooperation with EMPACT Priorities

Extended cooperation with EMPACT Priorities

After a successful partnership with EMPACT Firearms, working on strengthening the involvement of the WB institutions in the activities carried out as a part of Operational Action Plans, project has been appointed as a Co-Action Leader in Operational Action 4.1 Cooperation with the Western Balkans.

Additionally, cooperation has been established with EMPACT Facilitation of Illegal Immigration and the project was presented at the meeting of Vienna Platform on 1st October and has been added as a participant of the Operational Action 2.1. Western Balkans Task Force on 6th October.

By having established such a cooperation, the project will gain better insight into how to provide targeted support to institutions in the Western Balkans to enhance their cooperation with EU in fighting these specific crime phenomena.

The project Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans IPA 2019 is committed towards improving the ability of the Western Balkans partner institutions to contribute to the European Union Policy Cycle. One important part of the EU Policy Cycle is the European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal threats (EMPACT) and the cooperation has been initiated since July 2018.

More details on EU Policy Cycle, EMPACT and Operational Action Plans can be found on: https://www.europol.europa.eu/empact

Europol Joint Action Days – 34 countries fighting organised crime

Europol Joint Action Days – 34 countries fighting organised crime

A total of 34 countries teamed up last week to combat organised and serious international crime originating from Southeast Europe as part of joint action days (JAD). The four-day operation supported by Europol was aimed at tackling illegal immigration and the trafficking of firearms and drugs, which are key priorities of the European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats (EMPACT). Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans – IPA 2019 project was one of the international partners in this action.

See more on  https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/166-arrested-in-international-crackdown-against-crime-in-southeast-europe

Efficient cooperation with the Public Prosecutor`s Office of North Macedonia

Efficient cooperation with the Public Prosecutor`s Office of North Macedonia

On September 23, the Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans – IPA 2019 project team based in North Macedonia met Mr. Ljubomir Joveski, Public Prosecutor of the Republic of North Macedonia to discuss the potentials of future cooperation. The novelties of the current project phase (7.2020-6.2023) were presented to Mr. Joveski, including the possibilities to submit project ideas in response to the Technical Assistance Facility Call for proposals, project’s support to the NMK EUROJUST Liaison Public Prosecutor and project’s intent to enhance the collaboration between the Public Prosecution Offices in the Western Balkan and relevant EU networks. Mr. Joveski warmly welcomed the team and the new project phase while stressing the importance of project support to the work of the PPO office and commending the efficient cooperation undertaken so far. 

Chief BiH Prosecutor meets project representatives

Chief BiH Prosecutor meets project representatives

Chief Prosecutor of the Prosecution Office BiH, Gordana Tadic, met with representatives of the Project Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans – IPA 2019 with the objective to sum up activities and achieved results from the previous phase which was financed by IPA 2017, as well as to plan the future activities in BiH, in cooperation with countries of the Western Balkans and in cooperation with EU institutions and networks of importance for the fight against OC.

The Chief Prosecutor spoke with Malci Gabrijelcic, leaving resident EU prosecutor of this project and Alenka Ranzinger, which was appointed as the new resident EU prosecutor, together with the legal advisor for BiH, Amina Mašović.

The CSCWB – IPA 2019 project is of high importance for the PPO BiH and for the rule of law process, especially for the prosecutors and empoloyees of the Special Devision for OC, economic crime and corruption, which are actively participating in numerous international operations aiming to fight cross-border crime, together with partner institutions from regional countries and the EU.

Serbian Liaison Prosecutor begins at Eurojust following Cooperation Agreement

Serbian Liaison Prosecutor begins at Eurojust following Cooperation Agreement

The newly appointed Liaison Prosecutor for Serbia Ms Gordana Janicijevic has taken up her duties at Eurojust. Ms Janicijevic was officially introduced Monday, 10 March 2020 to the Eurojust College during a visit of Serbian Republic Public Prosecutor Ms Zagorka Dolovac.

Serbia is the 7th country to have a Liaison Prosecutor at Eurojust, the 4th country from the Western Balkan region. Liaison Prosecutors can open cases for support from EU Member States and participate in coordination meetings and coordination centres to step up the fight against cross-border crime. Since 2015, Serbia has already cooperated with Eurojust in nearly 150 cases, attended 22 coordination meetings and participated in 7 Joint Investigation Teams.

Read more about this meeting and the cooperation between Serbia and Eurojust at the Eurojust website.

Meeting with Eurojust President in North Macedonia

Meeting with Eurojust President in North Macedonia

IPA/2017 Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans Project Representatives in Skopje and North Macedonian Public Prosecutor Lenche Ristoska met Eurojust President Mr. Ladislav Hammran during his visit to the judiciary institutions of North Macedonia on 20 February 2020. Mr. Hammran expressed his warm appreciation for the Project’s contribution to the cooperation between Eurojust and North Macedonia. The nomination and work of North Macedonian Liaison Public Prosecutor to Eurojust Ms. Lenche Ristoska was praised and considered a great success.

Potential cooperation in the area of digitization of criminal justice in the countries of the region were discussed to further strengthen capacities in the fight against organised crime. The IPA/2017 CSCWB Project will continue to promote the tools of Eurojust and support the work of Liaison Public Prosecutors from the Western Balkan countries.

Regional Forum Seeks to Improve Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters

Regional Forum Seeks to Improve Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters

The Regional Forum on Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters: Revision of Bilateral Treaties Between Montenegro and The Countries of the Region took place on 16-17 December 2019 in the Avala Hotel in Budva, Montenegro and was organized by the Ministry of Justice of Montenegro, in cooperation with IPA/2017 Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans Project, the US Embassy and International Development Law Orgnisation (IDLO).

The Forum was the seventh meeting of this kind in Montenegro and the third taking place as a Regional Judicial Cooperation Forum. It brought together representatives of Ministry of Justices, Prosecution Services and Courts from the Western Balkan countries and Croatia, as well as EU and regional experts, to discuss the challenges and opportunities for improving cooperation in criminal matters. This year the forum focused on joint investigation teams, cybercrime, war crimes, international projects and the academic community as support to judicial cooperation in criminal matters.

In addition to the above-mentioned topics, participants discussed the revision of bilateral treaties between Montenegro and the countries of the region, which will be adopted in the coming months.

The Regional Forum started with introductory speeches by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice of Montenegro Mr. Zoran Pažin, Ambassador of the USA to Montenegro Mrs. Judy Rising Reinke, IDLO Regional Program Manager Mrs. Margarita Meldon, and Seconded EU Prosecutor of the IPA/2017 Countering Serious Crime in Western Balkans Mr. Silvij Šinkovec.

Albania’s Fugitive Active Search Team Joins ENFAST as “Observer” Country

Albania’s Fugitive Active Search Team Joins ENFAST as “Observer” Country

Two representatives from the Albanian State Police Fugitive Active Search Team (FAST) Unit participated at the European Network of Fugitive Active Search Teams (ENFAST) General Assembly Meeting. It was held from 11-13 February 2020 in Split, Croatia, on the 10th anniversary of the network`s creation.

During his opening speech, the Director General of the Croatian Criminal Police expressed his happiness that Albanian officers were in attendance. During the meeting participants engaged in important discussions about cooperation between the European State Police and national police units, to crack down on organised crime.

During the second day of the meeting, the Albanian delegation delivered a presentation about the FAST Albania Unit. Later, in the presence of all participants, a vote was taken whether to grant Albania observer status within ENFAST. The voting was unanimously positive, and without any reservations.

Albania is now an observer country to the ENFAST Network with no right to vote, or to be elected as a Steering Group Member or President, since Albania is not yet an EU member. However, the FAST is granted the right to access the European Platform for Experts (EPE).