Speech by Holger Schroeder, Chargé d'Affaires a.i of the EU Delegation to BiH

24 April 2014, BiH Parliament, Sarajevo

Dear Ministers, distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

is a great pleasure to stand here today, two years after we have
launched this ambitious project and to be able to call it a success.

EU Support to Law Enforcement Project was launched as the first major
capacity building and knowledge transfer project in the area of home
affairs in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Of course it built on the EU’s past
and long standing engagement in the sector. Yet there was a new emphasis
to our engagement. First, the orientation was squarely towards the
country’s European future and the need to move towards meeting EU
standards in the areas of Justice and Security. And second, the emphasis
was to agree on priorities and to deliver results via a true

I believe the project has met these ambitions,
and I believe many aspects of project implementation can be considered
as examples of good practice!

So let me thank the more than 21
Law Enforcement Agencies as well as the Ministries of Interior and of
Security who were the beneficiaries of this project. They have displayed
full ownership and a cooperative and professional approach.

me also thank Austria as the lead Member State – as well as its partners
– Hungary, Slovenia, ICMPD, the Police Academy of Brandenburg and
Transparency International – for the excellent support that they have
provided to the Project.

Indeed 250 local and international
experts were involved to develop and implement up to 500 activities of
various formats and across a total of ten components. And as a result,
progress was made on the three priority fields of the project: fighting
organised crime and corruption, strengthening regional and international
cooperation, and reinforcing police and justice cooperation.  

Let me now mention a few results that were achieved:
the first time, the law enforcement agencies drafted the first Serious
and Organised Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA) in BiH, in line with the
Europol methodology. Experts from all law enforcement agencies were
pooled to jointly work on strategic and operational analysis. Such
co-operation is at the heart of how complex crime is tackled, and we
believe that this experience will be replicated by more regular
exchanges of intelligence between agencies in the future.

project also prepared the ground for criminals losing the proceeds of
crime and has done so by presenting minimum legal standards for the
seizure of illegally gained assets. Substantial efforts by Governments
and Parliaments at all levels are now needed to have these standards
adopted into the legislative frameworks of the country, and to
ultimately ensure that crime does not pay!

The Project has also
prepared a roadmap for the implementation of adequate standards of
personal data protection. This is of course key for BiH to further
deepen its cooperation with Europol.

Also on the international front, a working agreement with the European Police College (CEPOL) has been agreed upon.

So, this is all evidence of concrete progress, but of course a lot remains to be done as well.

is a space for improvement when it comes to the use of the police data
exchange system and the systematic exchange of criminal intelligence.
The country also needs to make particular efforts in this area, which is
important not only here but also throughout Europe.

This brings me to the future of our cooperation.

are looking forward to continue the approach we have started with this
project – an approach of partnership and EU integration, supported
through dialogue and through concrete projects.

Adding to the 20
Million Euros we have invested in the sector since 2002, we will this
year launch two new Twinning projects in the value of 6 Million Euros.
We will keep the same spirit of partnership and we plan to go more into
depth on jointly selected priorities through these projects among them
money laundering, asset seizure, corruption and strategic management.

Let me close by again thanking all those who have contributed to make this project a success.

Thank you.