SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 14,2008) - Ambassador Dimitris Kourkoulas, Head of the Delegation of the European Commission to Bosnia attended yesterday the conference "Cooperation between the Police and Prosecutor's Offices in Bosnia" that takes place in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo from October 13-15.
The Conference is a part of the Project “Establishment of enhanced mechanisms of cooperation between the police and prosecutor’s offices in Bosnia” and is implemented by the Bosnian High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of Bosnia.
This project has been facilitated by the EU Police Mission in Bosnia (EUPM) and financed by the United Kingdom. The project is jointly implemented by the Bosnian State Ministry of Security, entity ministries and Brčko District Police.
European Union is attaching particular importance to the consolidation of the rule of law in Bosnia .
"In this context, improved cooperation between prosecutors and police agencies is essential for the European integration process," said Ambassador Kourkoulas and named three main reasons for the rule of law importance. First, the rule of law is a precondition for democracy and economic development, second, for the Stabilisation and Association Process, and third, it is important for future progress in relation to Visa Liberalisation.
Ambassador Kourkoulas noted that to date the European Union had made investments in Justice and Home Affairs in Bosnia in amount of 140 million Euros.
"The European Union and European Commission will continue to be fully committed supporting your efforts in the area of Justice and Home Affairs throughout new financial instruments,“ concluded Kourkoulas.
All ministers underlined the importance of further enhancement of the cooperation between the Police and Prosecutor’s Offices throughout the country for the benefit of all Bosnian citizens. They were all united in the message that it was the only way to efficiently fight organised crime and all other forms of criminal behaviour.
Head of the European Union Police Mission to Bosnia, Brigadier General Vincenzo Coppola evaluated the relations among police agencies and prosecutors in the entire country, and stressed that although there was a room for improvement, the situation was much better than several years ago.
"We witnessed the number of complex and high profile investigations, which resulted with arrests and indictments. Some of the most dangerous criminals are behind the bars and serious organised crimes gangs have been dismantled. This shows that we are on the right track," outlined the general Coppola.
Raffi Georgian, the International community's Principal Deputy High Representative in Bosnia and Supervisor for the Brcko District said that this conference had a unique role to play in bringing professionals together to consider the relations between police and prosecutors and how they could be improved.
In the afternoon, all present professionals had panel discussions on Human Trafficking, Organised Crime, General Crime and Criminal Intelligence Service.
During the day, the beneficiaries of the Project signed the Memorandum of Understanding for Implementation of Joint Training Programmes for the Police and Prosecutors in Bosnia and Memorandum on the Implementation of the “Community Policing in Bosnia” Project (phase 3)”.
The purpose of the project is to enhance current and adopt new coordination mechanism between the police and prosecutor’s offices with the aim of more efficient combat against all types of crime in Bosnia. The project implementation is also going to increase the efficiency of prosecutor’s offices in terms of a better capability of the prosecutors to process criminal offences.
The aim of the project is defined through four operational goals:
1. Drafting and adoption of non-existing bylaws and harmonization of the existing bylaws;
2. Development of joint training programmes for the police and prosecutors;
3. Harmonisation of records and statistical data;
4. Feasibility study conducted to define methodology for development of criminal/other records accessible by the police and prosecutor’s offices.
The project is being implemented by the project team of the Bosnian High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council, facilitated by the EUPM and financed by the UK government in cooperation with the Coordination Board, whose formation was approved by a decision of the project Steering Board.