18.11.2009, 13:20

EU-Western Balkans Ministerial Forum 2009

On 16 and 17 November 2009 an EU-Western Balkans Ministerial Forum on Justice and Home Affairs was convened in Brussels, chaired by the Swedish Minister for Justice, Ms Beatrice Ask. The meeting was also attended by vice president Barrot of the European Commission and Ministers from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo under UNSCR 1244/1999.

The main objective of the annually meeting is to discuss the state of preparation of the Western Balkan states to apply the EU acquis, in particular in areas such as the independence of the judiciary and the fight against organised crime. A particular focus has been put on the cooperation of Western Balkans countries with Europol, Eurojust and Frontex.

To highlighte one of the conclusions at the Forum: The EU and the Western Balkans will require that the latter countries adopt and implement the highest standards in the field of personal data protection. In this respect, implementation of the Police Cooperation Convention for Southeast Europe will contribute to closer operational cooperation in the region and at the same time assist the signatories in bringing standards in the area of police cooperation closer to EU acquis.