Panel Discussion on ‘Filling the Black Hole: Bringing Kosovo into International Police Cooperation Organizations’

March 25, 2015

The Group for Legal and Political Studies, in cooperation with Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), hosted a Panel Discussion on 3 March 2015, to present the Policy Report entitled, “Filling the Black Hole:  Bringing Kosovo into International Police Cooperation Organizations.” Panelists included representatives of Ministries and Government Bodies, Kosovo Police, State Prosecutor, Embassies and Civil Society. The Panel addressed the increasing threat of transnational crime, and how national police organizations must adapt to this evolving threat in order to be fully effective. The Report focuses on how International Police Cooperation Organizations (IPCOs) offer a solution to this problem.

The Policy Report discusses the benefits and functions of IPCOs, and emphasizes the importance of including all countries in IPCOs. Most importantly, Kosovo should seek formal relationships with Interpol and Europol. The Report sets forth a list of concrete policy recommendations that promote Kosovo’s full and active participation in organizations that address security and transnational crime.

Panelists shared their experience in liaising with IPCOs, and specific instances in which they cooperated to address transnational crime. Areas of success include trafficking of weapons, drugs, and vehicular fraud. However, areas for improvement were also discussed in depth. Main barriers to Kosovo’s cooperation with IPCOs, such as Interpol and Europol, include lack of political will, Serbia’s prevention of Kosovo in becoming a member of IPCOs, and lack of formalized procedures.

Minister Hyseni pointed out that Kosovo is in the process of applying for membership with Interpol, and progress should be made in this regard at the upcoming June 2015 conference in Rwanda. Mr. Rexha, deputy general director of the Kosovo Police, emphasized that while there is some direct cooperation, it has not been formalized between the Kosovo Police with regard to Interpol and Europol. Panelists agreed that while there are currently areas with which Kosovo can strengthen its relationships with IPCOs, the existing cooperation can be successfully strengthened with the Kosovo government’s continued commitment to lobbying efforts, and normalizing relationships with other countries in the region. To access the report, please click here.

Panelists in attendance:

  1. Skender Hyseni – Minister, Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kosovo;
  2. Alan Edwards – Chief of Organised Crime Investigation Unit, EULEX;
  3. Rexhep Selimi – Member, Committee on Internal Affairs, Security and Supervision of the Kosovo Security Force;
  4. Libor Chlad –  Deputy Head of Cooperation Section, European Union Office in Kosovo/EUSR;
  5. Naim Rexha – Deputy Head of Kosovo Police;
  6. Florian Qehaja – Executive Director, Kosovo Centre for Security Studies;
  7. Kreshnik Gashi – Editor, Drejtesia ne Kosove;

Venue: Orion Conference Centre

Str. ‘Rexhep Luci’, Prishtina, Kosovo


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