First Strategic Cooperation Forum brings together high-level law enforcement officials from the Western Balkans to discuss key security threats and related training needs

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31 May 2021

Within the framework of the EU-funded “Partnership against Crime and Terrorism” project in the Western Balkans (WB PaCT), CEPOL and Europol today hosted the first Strategic Cooperation Forum (SCF) to discuss the training priorities in the key security threat areas with the long-term objective to strengthen the strategic cooperation in the region.

The online forum was attended by law enforcement authorities from the partner countries working in the operational and training departments, as well as EU bodies, such as the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR), the Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME), Frontex, other relevant EU actors and experts from the Member States.

The forum was opened by Ms. Alessandra Viezzer, Deputy Head of Unit of the Western Balkans Regional Cooperation and Programmes Unit at DG NEAR, followed by Ms. Julia Viedma, Head of Department of the Operational & Analysis Centre at EUROPOL, and Ms. Mailis Pukonen, Head of Operations at CEPOL.

A number of thematic presentations followed in the plenary session, including the EU Strategic Training Needs Assessment (EU-STNA) methodology and the Beneficiary Assessment Missions’ findings and outcomes, both provided by Cepol, as well as the Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA), the Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TESAT) and the European Multidisciplinary Platform against Criminal Threats (EMPACT)

During the second session, the participants were divided into two working groups, where they further discussed key topics regarding serious and organised crime and terrorism, training needs, strategic cooperation and the harmonisation of procedures at regional and beneficiary level. It was an occasion to share common challenges and find joint solutions.

The results and achievements of this event will be included in a report that will serve as a basis for the development of the Operational Training Needs Analysis (OTNA) and the capacity building training portfolio foreseen by the project.

CEPOL will organise two further annual SCFs with the aim of revising the identified priorities, and, if necessary, making adjustments.

About WB PaCT

The Partnership against Crime and Terrorism project in the Western Balkans (WB PaCT) aims at enhancing the capacities of the authorities in the Western Balkans to fight organised crime and terrorism including preventing and countering violent extremism by enhancing cooperation within the region and with the EU.

The WB PaCT project is coordinated by the EU Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL) and supported by the EU Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol). The project partners are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. The duration of the project is 36 months (19 October 2020 – 18 October 2023).

For more information on the WB PaCT project, please visit the project page.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and it is in line with the UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence



Office address

European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training
1066 Budapest
Ó utca 27

Correspondence address

European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training
1903 Budapest

Email address

Telephone: +36 1 803 8030/8031

Fax: +36 1 803 8032