From 20 to 22 October 2015, CEPOL has organised jointly with PCC SEE (Police Cooperation Convention for Southeast Europe) the seminar 27/2015 “Western Balkans organised crime links” in Budapest, Hungary. The activity gathered 34 participants and 7 experts from Kosovo*, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Hungary, Italy, France, Spain, EUROPOL and FRONTEX.
The activity aimed at:
- improving participants’ knowledge on Western Balkans organised crime groups involved in illegal immigration, heroin and synthetic drugs smuggling, firearms trafficking, goods counterfeiting, money laundering, foreign fighters and trafficking in human beings;
- raising awareness on how EU agencies can support investigations and on relevant EU-funded projects in this field;
- strengthening professional contacts among law enforcement officers working in this area and building mutual trust.
Participants came from police, border guard, intelligence and strategic analysis and state investigation agencies. They were provided with practical examples on recent investigations and exchanged information on best practices in this area.
As stated by one of the students, “the best way to combat organised crime is by enhancing operational cooperation, and CEPOL has given us the chance to meet colleagues working in similar investigations”. CEPOL has organised several training activities together with the PCC SEE Secretariat since 2012, with the aim of improving cooperation between law enforcement officers from the European Union and Western Balkans countries.
*The designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.