The EU continues to support the operationalization of the National/Joint Contact Point of BiH for cooperation with EUROPOL

With the support of the EU Office in BiH, representatives of the National/Joint Contact Point of BiH for Cooperation with EUROPOL paid a visit to the International Police Cooperation Service of the Italian Ministry of Interior, on 10 May 2023.

Cross-border law enforcement cooperation is key for the safety and security of citizens across Europe and the aim of the visit was to enhance this cooperation and further strengthen capacities of BiH Contact Point. During the visit, representatives of the BiH Contact Point were able to learn more about best practices and the operational work of a national service for cooperation with EUROPOL in the EU member state with a multiagency approach similar to BiH. They also had an opportunity to hear about Advance Passenger Information/Passenger Name Record (API/PNR) systems used in the context of border control and security that BiH is currently in the process of establishing. Additionally, this was a chance for participants to get familiar with the functioning of European Multidisciplinary Platform against Criminal Threat (EMPACT) and Asset Recovery Office (ARO) in Italy.

Implementation of the Operational Agreement with EUROPOL and full operationalization of the Contact Point should significantly contribute to more efficient fight against organised crime and corruption, which is one of the 14 key priorities from the European Commission’s Opinion on BiH’s application for EU membership. This will allow BiH law enforcement authorities full access to EUROPOL analytical tools and databases and make it easier for law enforcement agencies in the EU and BiH to exchange valuable operational information.

This visit was supported by the IPA Regional Project on countering serious crime in the Western Balkans. The EU additionally continues to support the operationalisation of the Contact Point through the ongoing refurbishment of the premises that will host it, and the donation of IT equipment necessary for its operation.