Serbia and BiH are working to increase their anti-crime and anti-corruption efforts together.
By Ivana Jovanovic for Southeast European Times in Belgrade -- 30/12/13
Serbia and BiH police will co-operate in anti-crime efforts under the new agreement. [AFP]
Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Serbia are working together to improve their security sectors as part of their common goal to join the EU and to increase anti-crime and anti-corruption efforts.
"By strengthening co-operation at a regional level, we are contributing to the security for our citizens as well as for our neighbours and the EU. Through regional co-operation we are showing that we can be reliable partners to the EU since membership is a common goal for both states," BiH Security Minister Fahrudin Radoncic told SETimes.
As part of the effort, Belgrade officials and the BiH Council of Ministers signed a security agreement last month. "The agreement starts a new chapter in economic and defence co-operation between Serbia and BiH, and is important for the region's stability and EU integration," Serbia Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said after the signing.
The agreement establishes procedures for the exchange of information, police co-operation and anti-crime measures between the two countries.
"This agreement establishes a legal framework for co-operation between the two state bodies that are part of the security sector, such as the ministries for internal affairs, defence and security services," Goran Matic, head of Serbia's National Security Council office for the protection of confidential data, told SETimes.
He said that the agreement implementation will be present in other fields as well, including the economy sector and industrial security.
The agreement is also a clear message that national borders will not be an obstacle to anti-crime measures, because Serbia and BiH will work together.
"The agreement will ensure a more effective fight against crime, especially if we bear in mind that crime groups often have extensive networks in several countries," Radoncic said.
Dragan Zivkovic, a project manager at the International Institute for Security in Belgrade, said the agreement will be beneficial to intensifying cross-border co-operation and the regionalisation of security issues, as well as EU integration.
"The fact that security issues are being recognised in two countries as a common goal and will be regionalised in order to be solved shows that that states are working together to get results. Those results represent that we, together, are coming closer to the EU," Zivkovic told SETimes.
What can your country do to foster the regionalisation of anti-crime measures? Share your opinion in the comments.