Progress on establishment of interagency groups in South-Eastern Europe

June 2022, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia: In line with the objectives of the EU-UNODC joint action on enhanced border control in South-Eastern Europe, UNODC conducted three monitoring missions to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and North Macedonia to assess the developments towards the establishment and operationalization of the AIRCOP/CCP inter-agency groups and advance on the next steps.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, an agreement was reached with the authorities to include the AIRCOP component in the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which currently refers to CCP action only. The existing MoU will be supplemented with an Annex on the AIRCOP component. In Serbia, the establishment of the group is going as planned, the officers to be assigned the interagency group have been selected, the premises for the office of the group at the airport have been secured and the refurbishment of the area is almost concluded. In North Macedonia, the Border Interagency Unit – BIU in Skopje was officially opened in April 2022 and is soon to be fully operational.

Additionally, UNODC met with the Police Directorate and Customs in Montenegro as well as the US and UK representatives to discuss the call of interest from Montenegro to be part of the AIRCOP/CCP Air components and develop strategic plans for the establishment of the AIRCOP/CCP interagency group in the country. The operationalisation of the unit is seen as a perfect synergy with the work of the Passenger Information Unit (PIU), representing the operational arm at the airport to complete the targeting process (passenger component).

The monitoring missions were conducted within the EU-UNODC action on promoting the rule of law and good governance through targeted border control measures at ports and airports, funded by the European Union and implemented by AIRCOP and CCP in cooperation with the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe.

This activity contributes to SDG 16, particularly SDG 16.a on strengthening relevant national institutions for building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime.