The Police Cooperation Convention for Southeast Europe Secretariat was established by the decision of the Committee of Ministers at its meeting on 17 July 2008 in Vienna. The Secretariat is hosted by DCAF Ljubljana. The Secretariat became operational on 1 September 2008. The work of the Secretariat will be executed by DCAF Ljubljana staff and secondees from Donor Countries and Contracting Parties.
Under the political guidance of the Committee of Ministers and the supervision of the Expert Working Group the Secretariat is mandated with the following tasks and responsibilities:
- To execute the tasks specified by the Committee of Ministers and the Expert Working Group.
- To coordinate, harmonize and catalogue all Convention related activities, including the Contracting Parties’ legislative agenda and exchange of good practices regarding the national implementation of the Convention’s provisions.
- To catalogue all bilateral and multilateral agreements concluded within the framework of the Convention.
- To prepare meetings of the bodies foreseen by the Convention (Committee of Ministers, Expert Working Group) and to coordinate activities of all working groups.
- To be the contact and coordination point for the Contracting Parties and international partners regarding their involvement in the implementation of the Convention.
- To facilitate cooperation between Contracting Parties and international partners aimed at ensuring the provision of both bilateral and multilateral assistance relevant for the implementation of the Convention.
- To develop a list of experts with knowledge and experience in the fields covered by and relevant to the Convention.
- To report on its functions and activities under the Convention directly to the Committee of Ministers at ministerial meetings, or indirectly through the Expert Working Group.
- To keep the Contracting Parties, the “Convention community” and the public informed on developments related to the Convention.
- To perform other secretariat functions.
On 5 May 2015, the Committee of Ministers tasked the Secretariat to also support the Contracting Parties (financial and logistical, if needed) upon request for their planning, coordinating and carrying out operations, including the exchange of officers in various phases and all kinds of investigations, as well as in the context of mass events. It was unanimously agreed that this support will be provided in ways which will not lead to any duplication of efforts in the region. It was agreed that the Secretariat shall not be transformed into an operational hub and, moreover, the Secretariat shall have no operational involvement at any time.
Reconfirming the full commitment of the Contracting Parties to an effective implementation process, including the allocation of necessary financial and human resources, the Ministers and the Director of the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation and Support Regarding the Secretariat at the third meeting of the Committee of Ministers on 21 May 2010 in Sofia. The document defines the role and tasks of the Secretariat, institutionalizing its activities performed since September 2008.