EU facilitates establishment of Police Chiefs Coordination Forum to enhance multi-agency police coordination and cooperation in BiH

Strengthening the rule of law and ensuring an efficient fight against organised crime and corruption in all of their forms are key for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s path to the EU as well as for the country overall. Inter-agency cooperation and exchange of information remain of essential importance in such efforts and, to help support them, the EU is facilitating the establishment of the Police Chiefs Coordination Forum.

The inaugural meeting of the Police Chiefs Coordination Forum was opened today by Head of EU Delegation and EU Special Representative to BiH Johann Sattler with police directors and senior representatives of the State Investigation and Protection Agency of BiH, the BiH Border Police, the FBiH Police Directorate, the RS Ministry of Interior and the Police of Brčko District taking part.

This represents the first EU-led initiative to establish a Police Chiefs Coordination platform of regular meetings to enhance understanding of key security threats and strengthen multi-agency police cooperation and coordination on strategic and operational aspects in the law enforcement arena, at all levels in BiH.

The meeting held today highlighted EU priorities to address shortcomings in rule of law and assist law enforcement agencies in BiH to implement key reforms. These reforms are necessary for the country’s path to the EU, as outlined in the 14 key priorities of the European Commission’s Opinion on BiH’s application for EU membership. The participants also underlined the importance of strengthening cooperation and its significance for improving the capacity and efficiency of law enforcement and also discussed joint objectives and challenges as well as steps needed to make progress.

Further meetings will be held on regular basis and, in parallel, the EU will also coordinate EU Member States and non-EU Member States police liaison officer meetings to promote strengthened coordination in home affairs area.

Aside from the establishment of the Forum, the EU continues to support law enforcement agencies in BiH though IPA projects to further enhance their capacity to better fight against transnational organised crime. Examples include an ongoing Cybercrime twinning project and upcoming EU Police Assistance to BiH (EUPA4BiH), worth EUR 10 million, as all-inclusive projects involving not just the police but, according to best EU practices, prosecutors and judges.