About the project

Countering Serious Crime Balkans - Left Quote

Reinforced cooperation for fighting organised crime, countering terrorism and violent extremism, border security and migration management is a high priority in the enlargement perspective for EU engagement with the Western Balkans.

Countering Serious Crime Balkans - Right Quote

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, Brussels 2018


Beneficiary countries
Western Balkans Map

*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.

Beneficiary institutions
  • Ministries of Justice
  • Ministries of Interior/Security
  • Prosecution Offices
  • Police
  • Other law enforcement agencies
Continuation of
IPA History
Total volume

European Commission (DG NEAR):
15,800,000 EUR
German Government (BMZ):
1,215,000 EUR
Italian Ministry of Interior:
900,000 EUR


(07/2020 – 06/2023)

IPA Duration

Mutual trust, institutionalised cooperation and exchange of information remain crucial elements in the further development of the international fight against serious crime and terrorism across the region and with the EU.

Puzzle Pieces

What we aim to achieve


…strengthen the operational capabilities of Western Balkan law enforcement and security authorities to fight serious and organised crime and terrorism (operational support).

Western Balkans

…support the relevant authorities to effectively participate in and contribute to EU and intra-regional cooperation structures and assessments (strategic cooperation).

Information Exchange

…increase the capabilities of Western Balkan law enforcement and security authorities to exchange information (interoperability of information systems).

Key activities

Operational Support


Our EU experts work with their colleagues in the Western Balkans on specific cases, establishing trust and close cooperation between Western Balkans law enforcement institutions, EU agencies and the Member States


Together with Europol, the Drivers and the Action Leaders we improve the ability of the Western Balkans institutions to actively take part in and contribute to the EU Policy Cycle (EMPACT Priorities)


The project offers EU wide expertise to our partner institutions – flexible and on demand: Technical Assistance Facility (TAF)

Strategic Cooperation


The project strengthens the cooperation with relevant EU Justice and Home Affairs agencies (e.g. Europol, Eurojust) & relevant networks (e.g. European Judicial Network)


With the Regional CT/Security advisor we support the functioning of the Regional Network of National Prevention and Countering of Violent Extremism (P/CVE) Coordinators


Together with Europol and other partners, our experts support the partner institutions in developing two regional Threat Assessments on SOC and Terrorism

Interoperability of Information Systems


In synergy with Europol and other partners, the project supports partner institutions’ upgrade and extension of information systems and databases


By supporting and implementing of the EU directives 2004/82/EC and 2016/681 (API/PNR) we work on more robust passenger data protection standards within the Western Balkan systems

Our Teams on the Ground

6 Embedded Country Teams
Located at 6 Prosecution and 6 Police-Units in 6 Beneficiary Countries

Resident EU Prosecutors

Resident EU Prosecutors

National Legal Advisers

National Legal Advisers

Resident EU Police Officers

Resident EU Police Officers

National Project Assistants

National Project Assistants

Provide advice as well as financial and organisational support

Down Arrow
Ministries of Justice

Ministries of Justice

Public Prosecution Offices

Public Prosecution Offices

Ministries of Interior/Security

Ministries of Interior/Security



Achievements from IPA 2017

Joint Investigation Teams

The establishments of 5
"Joint Investigation Teams"

were supported

Prosecution Number

Supported criminal
investigations resulted in
prosecution in 37 cases

Trafficking Number

Investigations related to
trafficking in human beings
and smuggling of migrants


4 of 5 countries now
have signed agreements
with Eurojust

IPA Circle

4 of 6 Western Balkan
countries now have new
draft laws on cross-border

Prosecution Number

Complex pre-investigations
have been supported,
75 have been accepted by
the Prosecutors' Offices

Increased Investigations

12 of 12 authorities
and police units confirmed
an increased effectiveness
of investigations

Capacity Building

of the participants assessed
positively the respective
capacity building activities