Working together for strong rule of law: police directors, police commisioners and chief prosecutors prepare major EU project

Stronger law enforcement in Bosnia and Herzegovina was under discussion today at a key meeting of senior institutional officials and representatives of the European Union. In a view of a forthcoming EU law enforcement project – totalling nearly 7 million EUR – a first Senior level Working Group Meeting was convened in Sarajevo. Among the attendees were the police directors and commissioners, chief prosecutors and other high-level representatives of all police agencies at the state, entity/district and cantonal level, as well as of the state and entity/district level prosecutors’ offices.

The Head of the Operations Section for Justice and Home Affairs and Public Administration Reform of the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Severin Strohal, commented:

“Offences against society are offences against everyone. That’s why robust action in the face of law breaking, particularly the fight against corruption, is needed – and why it is fundamental to successful progress on a country’s path towards EU membership. Getting the legislation right across all of Bosnia and Herzegovina and creating a track record of achievements will require a joint approach from all those involved. The support that the EU is providing in this area will require our partners in Bosnia and Herzegovina to act to translate the Work Plan into concrete progress”.

The meeting was organised by the project “EU Support to Law Enforcement” in close cooperation with the BiH Ministry of Security and the EU Delegation to BiH with the objective of discussing the draft Work Plan for the first implementation phase (July – December 2012), as well as serving to provide a forum to senior managers of all key law enforcement agencies in BiH for discussion and recommendations for future activities of the project.

The project, funded by the EU from the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA 2010) in the amount of 6,9 M EUR started on 2 May 2012 and will continue until 30 April 2014. The specific objectives of this Project are to: (i) assist in improving legislation, capacities and capabilities of police bodies, institutions and agencies to strengthen cooperation and coordination in the area of Law Enforcement; (ii) further implement police reform in accordance with the respective laws; (iii) contribute to reducing corruption and organised crime and thereby diminishing this threat for society and the economy; (iv) strengthen cooperation and coordination between police and the justice system, especially police and prosecutors, to make the fight against crime more effective.

The Project Consortium partners include the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Austria, the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Hungary, the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Slovenia, the Ministry of Interior of the Land Brandenburg of the Federal Republic of Germany, the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and Transparency International BiH (as an Associate). The project team consists of 11 long term experts coming from Austria, Germany, Hungary and Slovenia, and 18 local staff members. Beneficiary partners are BiH law enforcement agencies at state, entity, cantonal and Brcko District level.

For more information, please contact: “EU Support to Law Enforcement” project on 033 712 590.