Regional meetings strengthen co-operation against corruption, crime

08/05/2013

Communication and regional-level discussion are some of the most effective tools in the fight against organised crime and corruption, officials and experts say.

By Klaudija Lutovska for Southeast European Time in Skopje -- 08/05/13

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Co-operation between border police and customs agents are one of the key factors in the fight against organised crime, government officials said. [Tomislav Georgiev/SETimes]

Regional-level meetings and discussions are providing a necessary tool in the fight against crime and corruption in Southeast Europe.

Meetings are a secure communication channel and mechanism for the exchange of information and data on regional security structures. "We need to effectively share intelligence in international investigations, intensive liaison officers and international police organisations," Montenegro Interior Minister Rasko Konjevic said at a recent regional meeting.

"In order to ensure proper investigation, prosecution and sanctioning of corruption cases, bodies of law enforcement should be proactive, well-coordinated and effective." Alexander Talevski from the Association for Tolerance, told SETimes,

Serbia Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said that as a result of regional meetings, co-operation between police and prosecutors has improved.

"We have a common goal to fight against crime and corruption," Dacic said. "We can accomplish significant progress through the harmonisation of the legislation with European standards."

The region's 33 justice and internal affairs ministers and public prosecutors recently met to create a "new mechanism" of co-operation and create a common strategy "in response to current trends in crime."

"The fight against organised crime, the legal framework, practical work and co-operation between the competent authorities of the countries in the region is crucial in the fight against more frequent sophisticated forms of crime," Macedonia Justice Minister Blerim Bexheti said at the Regional Ministerial Conference in Belgrade.

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The meeting gave the opportunity for the judiciary, police and prosecutors from different countries to share their experiences and review the best ways establish joint investigation teams, regional warrants and other measures.

During the meeting, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania signed a letter of intent to further the cross-border recognition and enforce of judgments in civil and commercial matters.

"We will establish uniformed rules on international jurisdiction of courts, facilitating the recognition and implementation of a fast procedure for securing the enforcement of judgments, authentic documents and court settlements," Bexheti said.

What other opportunities can be realised through regional meetings and co-operation? Let us know your thoughts.

This content was commissioned for SETimes.com.
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