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Preparatory Meeting on Common and Coordinated Measures

Skopje, Macedonia - The Common and Coordinated Operations Working Group used the produced analytical input for further discussions in Skopje. Operational planners from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro and Serbia exchanged additional presentations on current border-related affairs, including contextual information needed for planning purposes (border police capacities in terms of manpower, technical equipment, current and predicted workload, etc.). Representatives from supportive countries Austria and Slovenia and representatives from international organisations Frontex, IOM, OSCE, UNODC and IPA Residential Expert in Skopje, actively participated in the debate. The group elaborated the working plan which defines where, when and with which specific focus common and coordinated operations (CCOs) will be organised and executed in 2016 (two common and one coordinated operation). The participants also agreed on the profile and number of participating police officers, as well as logistical issues. The CCOs will focus on traditional cross-border and international crime (illegal migration, human smuggling, drug smuggling, weapon smuggling, falsified documents, alcohol smuggling, cigarette and tobacco smuggling, livestock smuggling and textile smuggling) and especially on the illegal transportation of weapons to be used for terrorist and criminal acts in Western Europe. For this purpose, special mobile equipment will be used on some regional routes in the border area with the aim to detect “ant-trade” (small quantities of arms, mostly in personal cars, mules without previous crime records, constant flow).