Today, Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, hosted a meeting between the Frontex Management Board and the Heads of Border Police from the Western Balkans. The event was co-organised with the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
Participants gathered to discuss joint operations, information exchange and capacity building activities in the region. During the meeting, the partners decided to strengthen cooperation through intensified dialogue and joint initiatives as described in the joint conclusions.
For more than a decade, Frontex and the Western Balkan partners have been developing a close relationship based on mutual trust and understanding. The success of this cooperation is closely dependent on commitments at policy, strategic as well as operational levels, involving not only the agency, but the entire European Border and Coast Guard. To this end, in 2019 Frontex organised the first high-level meeting between the Frontex Management Board and Western Balkan partners as a platform for dialogue among the chiefs of border police.
Since then, the agency and the Western Balkan partners have made significant steps in further tightening their relations:
- Launch of fully-fledged joint operational activities at land and sea borders of Albania, Montenegro and Serbia;
- The Western Balkans Risk Analysis Network;
- The signing of the revised Working Arrangement with Albania;
- Deployment of the second Frontex Liaison Officer to the region;
- First workshop on establishing National Coordination Centres (NCCs) compatible with Eurosur standards;
- Start of two EU-funded capacity building projects under the IPA III instrument in 2022 to enhance capacities of Western Balkan partners in protection-sensitive migration management and border security.