THE CONVENTION OF THE SOUTHEAST EUROPEAN
LAW ENFORCEMENT CENTER (SELEC)
In order to transform the SECI Center into SELEC, an Expert Working Group was established in 2007, aiming to negotiate and develop the new Convention of the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC), based on the Council Conclusion of 4th December 2006.
The Secretariat of the SECI Center was tasked by the Joint Cooperation Committee with providing the main administration backup to the Expert Working Group, e.g. preparing the necessary documents for the meeting (agenda, invitation and files) and follow up (minutes, final conclusions, dissemination of work results). The Secretariat also introduced an alternative structure of the Draft Convention for consideration of the Group. The Secretariat was coordinated by the Legal and Internal Department of the SECI Center.
A Draft Convention was produced in 2006 for the European Commission Assistance Project to the SECI Regional Center for Combating Trans-border Crime in response to the needs and preferences expressed by the SECI Center Management and other stakeholders consulted and in furtherance of the findings of the SECI Center Assessment conducted by the European Commission in 2004.
The Commission supported the Expert Working Group Meetings on new Convention.
TAIEX - The Institution Building Unit of Directorate General Enlargement of the European Commission provided assistance for three meetings of the Expert Working Group. An European Union Support Group composed of Austria, Finland, Germany, Romania, the Commission, the General Secretariat of the Council, Europol and SECI Center was also set up to assist the SELEC Expert Working Group. The Support Group gave an expert input on some stages during the development of the SECI Center Legal Structure.
United States of America provided experienced prosecutors as resident legal advisors to the Expert Working Group. The United States of America also directly funded this project based on a Protocol between the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative Regional Center for Combating Trans-Border Crime and the Government of the United States of America.
Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe - Initiative to Fight Organized Crime - SPOC Secretariat provided assistance and support to SELEC Expert Working Group. The members of the JCC approved the integration of the SPOC Secretariat into the SECI Center, Legal and Internal Department, at the 26th JCC Meeting, in November 2007.
The SELEC Expert Working Group had 15 meetings during April 2007 and February 2010.
There were coordinated by Snejana Nenova (Republic of Bulgaria) from April 2007 to December 2007 and Samo Drobez (Republic of Slovenia) from January 2008 until the last meting.
The SECI Center Management actively participated in the meetings and shared the lessons learned from the SECI Center practice.
1) 16-20 April 2007/ Bucharest: 1st Working Group Meeting: Election of the Coordinator of the Expert Working Group; Discussion and answering of the EU SECI Support Group landmark questions and drafting of the Preamble and the Title I of the Convention.
2) 25-28 June 2007/ Bucharest: 2nd Working Group Meeting: Discussions about the Titles I on Establishment and Tasks and Title II on Legal Status and Organisation.
3) 10-14 September 2007/ Bucharest: 3rd Working Group Meeting: Discussions about the Titles II on Legal Status and Organisation and Title V on Financial Provisions.
4) 19-23 November 2007/ Bucharest: 4th Working Group Meeting: Discussions about the Titles VI on Participation, Title VII on Liability and Title VIII on Final Provisions.
5) 14-18 January 2008/Bucharest: 5th Working Group Meeting: Election of the new Coordinator of the Expert Working Group; Discussions about the Title III on Information System and about the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities.
6) 3-7 March 2008/ Bucharest: 6th Working Group Meeting: Discussions about the Title IV on Data Protection and about the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities.
7) 14-18 April 2008/ Constanta: 7th Working Group Meeting: Discussions on Title III about Information System and Title IV on Data Protection.
8) 9-13 June 2008/ Constanta: 8th Working Group Meeting: Discussions on the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities.
9) 22-26 September 2008/ Bucharest: 9th Working Group Meeting: Discussions about the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities and second reading of the draft text of the Convention.
10) 3-7 November 2008/ Bucharest: 10th Working Group Meeting: Discussions on the draft text of the Convention - second reading.
11) 9-13 February 2009/ Bucharest: 11th Working Group Meeting: Discussions on the draft text of the Convention - second reading.
12) 30 March - 3 April 2009/ Bucharest: 12th Working Group Meeting: Final reading and negotiation of the draft text of the Convention.
13) 6-10 July 2009/ Jupiter: 13th Working Group Meeting: The text of the Convention was agreed and finalized together with experts of the European Commission and Europol in cooperation with Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, based on the comments set forth in the May 27, 2009 Letter, addressed to SECI Center by the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The Convention of the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC) was approved by the JCC on the occasion of 31st Extraordinary Meeting held on 10th of September 2009, in Thessaloniki/ Greece. JCC empowered the same SELEC Expert Working Group to continue the negotiations in order to finalize the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities.
14) 2-6 November 2009/ Constanta: 14th Working Group Meeting: Discussions on the draft text of the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities - second reading.
15) 22-26 February 2010/ Istanbul: 15th Working Group Meeting: Final and proof reading of the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities.
The Convention of the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC) was signed on 9th of December 2009, during a ceremony which was organized in Bucharest/ Romania, together with celebrating 10 years of the SECI Center. The Convention was signed by the representatives of the 13 Member States: Republic of Albania, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Bulgaria, Republic of Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Hellenic Republic, Republic of Hungary, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Republic of Serbia, Republic of Slovenia and Republic of Turkey.
The Protocol on Privileges and Immunities was endorsed by the JCC and the member countries’ high officials signed the document on 24th of November 2010 in Bucharest/ Romania.
Starting 7th of October 2011, the Convention of the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC)entered into force, which was the sixtieth day following the date when nine State Parties to the Agreement on Cooperation to Prevent and Combat Trans-border Crime have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval.