Remarks of Mr. Gürbüz Bahadır,
Director General of SELEC,
on the occasion of 3rd Anniversary Day of SELEC
Today we mark the day of 7th of October 2014. This special day is the third anniversary of the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center, when the new SELEC Convention entered into force and a renewed dynamic law enforcement organization was founded.
On 7th of October 2011, SECI Center became SELEC while the experience and the best practices of the SECI Center for more than 14 years, as a unique operational organization that delivers valuable support to the national law enforcement agencies of police and customs, were transferred to SELEC.
SECI Center/SELEC has successfully animated law enforcement cooperation in the region from the very beginning, proving to be a strong and reliable connection among the national law enforcement authorities such as police and customs and other key actors in the fight against trans-border organized crime.
In addition to its 12 Member States, SELEC has granted observer status to 15 countries and international organizations. In 2014, United States of America and Italian Republic have become operational partners of SELEC, while Interpol, CARICC and Saudi Arabia’s partnerships are in process. Most of the observers of former SECI Center have therefore been reunited. Within a more and more globalized circumstances, sharing information, having a common understanding and developing joint strategies have become essential in the fight against trans-border criminality so that both the partner/observer status-holders and other organizations which separate cooperation agreements are signed with certainly represent milestones in our efforts to shape a common pathway in this field in the Balkans region.
At the same time, on 12th of July 2014, the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities of the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center entered into force, aiming to ensure the proper functioning and the efficient performance of the official activities of the Center in order to accomplish its regional mission and tasks.
Of course, there is still work to be done. At the moment, the priorities are to maintain the Center’s operational functionality at least at the present level of success, with 15-16.000 information exchanges and 60-70 joint investigations per year, Task Force activities, situation reports and other periodical documents, and to overcome the financial challenges expected for the years ahead. In this regard, it will be useful to keep in mind that the biggest factor that has brought the Center to the present level of success is the responsibility, reliance and appreciation of its Member States’ agencies involved in the Center’s work and processes.
By this occasion, I would like once more to thank the Member States, their law enforcement agencies as well as Liaison Officers and Center’s staff for their dedicated work and reliance, and also Partner and Observer countries and organizations, for their support, attendance and cooperation in Center’s activities. I believe that we have good reasons to keep up with a well-functioning example of international cooperation, in order to provide a more secure environment for the people.
SELEC is a unique operational organization in which Police and Customs Liaison Officers from 12 Member States (Republic of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Bulgaria, Republic of Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Hellenic Republic, Hungary, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Republic of Serbia and Republic of Turkey) work together in direct cooperation, coordinate joint investigations and facilitate exchange of information.
Main objective of SELEC:
The objective of SELEC, within the framework of cooperation among Competent Authorities, is to provide support for Member States and enhance coordination in preventing and combating crime, including serious and organized crime, where such crime involves or appears to involve an element of trans-border activity.