How We Work

Deployment of long-term experts

The project is unique in its practical approach. Each beneficiary is supported by a prosecutor and a police officer from EU member states as well as lawyers from the respective countries. These so-called Embedded Country Teams advise the beneficiary institutions in their ongoing operations and help them better investigate and prosecute serious and organised crime cases. This approach is advantageous because it allows the partner institutions to receive quick, high quality advice that takes EU best practices into account.

Involve international and local short-term experts

The project brings expertise from EU countries to the Western Balkans and facilitates the sharing of knowledge within the region. Prosecutors working within beneficiaries exchange experiences among themselves, for example when North Macedonia needed insight into how to establish Joint Investigation Team, a prosecutor from Bosnia and Herzegovina went to the country to share her knowledge of the process. This cooperation is a valuable way for beneficiary institutions to learn from each other and benefit from one another’s experiences and resources. To help infiltrate serious crime from all angles, the project has provided grants to the European Union Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law (IMPEL) and the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) to implement activities in the areas of awareness raising and capacity building regarding the fight against environmental crimes and to strengthen border security accordingly.

Facilitate Networking

The project supports the establishment of and the participation in networks such as the European Network of Fugitive Active Search Teams (ENFAST) and the European Judicial Network (EJN). With the support of the project in October 2018, EJN contact points from the Western Balkans and the EU met in Vallbandon, Croatia to exchange practical knowledge in the field of judicial cooperation during the pre-trail phase of an investigation. This workshop considered the application of the European Investigation Order as a new instrument of the judicial cooperation applicable in Italy, Slovenia and Croatia.

Provide permanent administrative support throughout the region

All project experts are administratively and logistically supported by Administrative Officers, which are based at the local GIZ project offices in the six beneficiaries. They guarantee quick and professional organisation of conferences, workshops and study trips. The Italian Ministry of Interior in Rome, the Center for International Cooperation in The Hague and GIZ offices in Germany complete this supportive framework with high level expertise.