In 2017, a number of EU/IPA funded projects and other initiatives for fighting cross-border organised crime in the Western Balkans started a round of informal coordination meetings. After successful meetings in Sarajevo, Budapest and Vienna, on November 15, 2019 a meeting was held at the Center for International Legal Cooperation meeting & training space in The Hague. According to CILC director Willem van Nieuwkerk in his opening speech, the space has always been proven to be an inspiring environment. Representatives of CEPOL, UNODC, PCC SEE, EUROPOL, IISG Secretariat and the IPA/2017 Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans project (GIZ, the Italian Ministry of the Interior and CILC) met in an informal way to discuss the work in the past months and planned activities until completion of IPA 2017.
While exchanging information on where the different projects are in their implementation, a lot of potential future synergies could be identified and good examples of concrete cooperation between the various partners could be presented as best practices. This way of cooperation is very much encouraged by the European Commission as well as the beneficiaries in the Western Balkans and could serve as a model in other regions or sectors of capacity building as well.