European experiences in countering organised crime, corruption and terrorism

The two-day workshop on Enhancing knowledge and skills for countering organised crime, corruption and terrorism ended on 7 March in Sarajevo. The workshop was organised by the BiH High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC), in cooperation with the Technical Assistance Information Exchange Instrument of the European Commission (TAIEX).

The workshop gathered more than 60 participants, prosecutors from BiH, representatives of police bodies, and the Agency for prevention and fight against corruption who shared their experiences with experts from Italy and Slovenia.

Foreign experts from the General Police Directorate of Slovenia and the Anti-mafia National Directorate of Italy presented successful international practices in prosecuting cases of organised crime. The National Directorate operates as part of the General Prosecutor’s Office with the Supreme Court of Italy, and is tasked with coordinating the fight against mafia and terrorism at state level and investigating cases of organised crime and terrorism.

The workshop was opened by Jadranka Lokmić Misirača, the Vice-President of the BiH High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council and Chlόe Berger, Head of Section for Justice and Home Affairs and Public Administration Reform at the Delegation of the EU in BiH.

In her opening remarks, Vice-President Lokmić Misirača underlined the importance of exchange of experiences and said that knowledge, skills and experience were needed in a complex system in this country, to be able to adequately respond to challenges in the fight against organised crime, corruption and terrorism. “This workshop is an example of determination to enhance, together with representatives of prosecutors’ offices and law enforcement agencies, our own knowledge in fighting various forms of crime, particularly those most complex such as organised crime and corruption“, Lokmić Misirača said.

As a pivotal part of the European integration process, the rule of law will continue to be supported through the EU Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance – IPA“, said Chloe Berger, Head of Section for Justice and Home Affairs and Public Administration Reform at the EU Delegation. “Under its IPA 2015 grant, the EU will support further strengthening of the capacities of the courts, prosecutor offices staff, prosecutors and other law enforcement agencies.  It will enhance the cooperation between prosecution and law enforcement agencies to improve the efficiency of the investigation and prosecution of organised crime and corruption cases. This should in turn increase the confidence of BiH citizens in the judicial system.

During the second day of the workshop, the participants had the chance to discuss topics relevant to detection and confiscation of illicitly acquired assets; state level and international cooperation, coordination and assistance, and criminal investigations of corruption in the court; as well as to learn more about  the Italian model of training programmes on the issue of fight against organised crime and terrorism.