On 20-21 January 2020, the EMPACT Firearms OAP 2020 Kick-off Meeting was held at Europol Headquarters in The Hague. The meeting allowed all participating Member States of EMPACT Firearms to be formally introduced to the Operational Action Plan for 2020. Through EMPACT significant cooperation has been established between EU Member States, relevant institutions and agencies, and the Western Balkans beneficiaries, who were present at the meeting and will participate in a number of Operational Actions in the following year.

EMPACT works primarily on operational cooperation between the law enforcement agencies in Europe, the MENA region and South America. It also focuses on capacity building to ensure law enforcement agencies are adequately trained to fight organised crime, such as firearms trafficking and smuggling.

At this meeting, cooperation between EMPACT Firearms and the IPA/2017 Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans Project was presented and a short overview of the next phase of the Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans was given.

Under the umbrella of EMPACT, other organisations are also working together towards a coordinated and systemic approach to the fight against serious organised crime, including EC, Europol, INTERPOL, Frontex, eu-Lisa, UNODC, Small Arms Survey, Flemish Peace Institute, El PAcCTO Project, SEESAC and PCC SEE.