Customs Cooperation Working Party of the Council of the European Union
BRUSSELS, January 21st, 2014 In the framework of Hellenic Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Customs Cooperation Working Party took place in Brussels on 21st of January 2014 and focused on enhancing the law enforcement cooperation against serious organized crime. The meeting was an excellent opportunity to discuss about the police-customs cooperation in Southeast European region and to identify available tools, needs and best practices.
SELEC was represented by Mr. Cristian Duta, Director for Operations, who briefed the participants in terms of SELECs main goals, task forces, successful cases and achievements.
Having in mind the important operational activities organized under Centers auspices, Mr. Duta emphasized that The operational activities of SELEC increased considerably throughout the years with a great number of successful joint investigations, aiming to provide a prompt support to the Member States law enforcement authorities, as well as to offer a more secure environment to the European citizens.
Mr. Duta also mentioned that SELEC will continue to support, encourage and motivate by any means the efforts of the law enforcement agencies from the Member States, while exchanging information, conducting joint investigations and controlled deliveries and disrupting organized crime groups.
Italian Republic became the first Operational Partner of SELEC
BUCHAREST, January 21st, 2014 - The ceremony of signing the Cooperation Agreement between the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC), represented by Mr. Gürbüz Bahadir, Director General, and the Public Security Department of the Interior Ministry of the Italian Republic, represented by Mr. Alessandro Pansa, Chief of Italian Police, took place on 21st of January 2014, at SELEC premises.
On the occasion of its 7th Meeting held on November 2013, the SELEC Council granted the Operational Partner status to the Italian Republic, making this country the first Operational Partner of SELEC.
The purpose of this Agreement is to strengthen cooperation between SELEC and the Public Security Department in preventing and combating all forms of traditional organized crime in the region.
Mr. Pansa emphasized that: “SELEC is a repository of the best practices in law enforcement and also a reference point for its Member States and partners, thanks to its crucial role of coordination and support to the counteraction against crime in the Balkan region as well as its advanced competences in strategic analysis and threat assessment. SELEC has the merit of making possible the cooperation at multilateral level among police, customs and judicial authorities, especially in sensitive sectors such as security and fight against terrorism and organized crime in general.”
During the ceremony, Mr. Bahadir expressed his belief that the Agreement will facilitate a better cooperation and more future joint investigations between SELEC and Italian Republic. “Sharing information and developing law enforcement strategies have become essential nowadays in the fight against trans-border organized crime, so that the Agreement which was signed today will certainly represent a milestone in our efforts to shape a common pathway in this field in the Southeast European region“, stated Mr. Bahadir.
Inter-Agency Meeting on Networking the Networks
Istanbul/ Republic of Turkey, December 12-13, 2013 - A meeting having the topic “Networking the Networks - an inter-regional drug control approach to stem drug trafficking” was organized by UNODC on 12th - 13th of December 2013 in Istanbul, with the participation of representatives from international and regional law enforcement organizations. The two-day conference was hosted by the Turkish Government to discuss greater coordination of efforts against drug trafficking and other types of trans-border organized crime.
The main purpose of this inter-agency meeting was to identify ways to leverage the combined strengths of various regional networks by creating a “network of networks”, aiming to establish links among these entities and act as a force multiplier in the fight against illicit trafficking.
During the meeting, there were raised general issues concerning the police and customs cooperation in Southeast European region as well as the Italian contribution in the cooperation, stressing that Italy had recently been granted Operational Partner status with SELEC.
Bucharest, November 20, 2013 - Through the European Judicial Training Network exchange programme, a group of eleven prosecutors from Bulgaria, France, Romania, Slovakia and Spain visited SELEC Headquarters in Bucharest/ Romania.
Representatives of SELEC and SEEPAG Secretariat made an extensive overview about both organizations' objectives, structure and activities, underlining the successful operations carried out under SELEC and SEEPAG auspices and the benefits of such law enforcement and judicial cooperation in the Southeast European region.
It was also mentioned that at the last SEEPAG meeting, besides the SEEPAG Members, representatives from all SELEC partners were invited to attend with a view to further develop the collaboration at prosecutorial level.
SEEPAG has developed its good relations with European Judicial Network as the cooperation between judicial networks is essential in tackling more efficiently transnational organized crime.