Ministerial Conference on Combating Terrorism in the Danube region

Sofia/ Bulgaria, 21-22 January 2016 – The Director for Legal and Internal Affairs of SELEC, Mrs. Snejana MALEEVA, participated in the Ministerial Conference on Combating Terrorism in the Danube regionorganized in Sofia in the framework of the Priority Area 11 “Security” of the European Strategy for the Danube Region.

Ms. Rumyana Bachvarova, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of Republic of Bulgaria, Mr. Philip Gounev, Deputy Minister of Interior and Mr. Dimitar Georgiev, Chairperson of the State Agency for National Security attended the conference, along with the Ministers responsible for home affairs and authorized representatives of the respective Ministries of the Danube Region countries.

SELEC’s activities and efforts for enhancing the cooperation in countering terrorism in the Southeast European region were presented by Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, during her intervention. Mrs. Maleeva also mentioned that, having regard the importance of this topic, in 2000 SELEC established the Anti-Terrorism Task Force, coordinated by Republic of Turkey. The Anti-Terrorism Task Force meetings are regularly held, at least once per year, with the participation of experts from all SELEC Member States and Partners.

Besides the Task Force meetings, SELEC developed projects, held workshops and, in 2011, developed together with the Turkish authorities a Manual on Counterterrorism Experiences of its Member Countries, which was considered a very useful tool for practitioners. The Manual covers, among others, the extent of terrorism problem in each country, the modus operandi of the terrorist organizations, the counter terrorism approaches and experiences in each SELEC Member State, legislation, strategies, programs and responsible authorities dealing with this crime in each country.

It was concluded that countering terrorism, by addressing its links to organized crime,  requires a multidisciplinary and comprehensive approach, as well as strong, flexible regional and international cooperation. In this respect, a Joint Declaration was adopted regarding the commitment of all countries in countering terrorism in the Danube region.