16th Meeting of the PCC SEE Committtee of Ministers
Brdo pri Kranju - The PCC SEE Committee of Ministers met on 15 December 2016 for the 16th time in its statutory capacity of the highest PCC SEE decision-making body. Ministers of home affairs and authorised representatives from the Contracting Parties acknowledged the completed drafting of the necessary documents on automated exchange of data and committed to begin with the formal procedures of obtaining the mandate for official negotiations and signing. The implementation of such an EU Prüm-inspired framework in the PCC SEE region is seen to bring a new dimension to the Contracting Parties’ fight against serious and organised cross-border crime, as well as terrorism, by utilising EU Prüm methodology in the region years before all its signatories become EU Member States. In this regard, they especially appreciated the PCC SEE Secretariat’s objective to support the Contracting Parties in need of building their capacities for automated exchange of data. The Committee of Ministers also recognised that a Lead role of the PCC SEE Secretariat in the pillar “Western Balkan Counter-Serious Crime initiative”(WBCSCi) of the recently established “Integrative Internal Security Governance”(IISG) would result in reinforcement of the PCC SEE Secretariat and the PCC SEE in the region. They mandated the PCC SEE Secretariat to apply for such a role, underlining the this should not jeopardize the PCC SEE implementation process and continued support to the Contracting Parties. The Committee of Ministers also endorsed the Work Programme of the Incoming PCC SEE Trio Chairmanship of Romania, Serbia and Slovenia, and welcomed the strategic outlook for the PCC SEE implementation process, which foresees efforts invested in 5 PCC SEE core clusters – data protection, information exchange, operational cooperation, countering terrorism, and automated exchange of data – where the Contracting Parties are invited to take over the role of a (co)driver in the development of one or more clusters. Several Contracting Parties have already committed to such roles and have dedicate topical experts to support the process.