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Joint action plan on counter-terrorism for the western balkans

  • Country: Belgium
  • City: Brussels
  • Type: Bilateral
  • Scale: International
  • Category: Operational work and support

Joint Action Plan outlines a concrete level of ambition and focus common to all Western Balkans partners, as well as related EU support in the area of Counter-Terrorism, including Preventing and Countering of Violent Extremism. The five Counter-Terrorism objectives in this plan provide a common focus and aim to lead to concrete deliverables in order to tackle the existing security challenges. This includes a systematic strengthening of regional cooperation. All Western Balkans partners and the EU intend to reach these five objectives by December 2020 through the actions foreseen in this plan.

Coordination Patterns

The EU follows developments in the Action Plan through 4 key channels:
– follow-up through regular exchanges, dialogues or visits;
– peer-review missions by Counter-Terrorism practitioners, including those involved in Prevent, which should be conducted with each Western Balkans partner;
– the Regional Network of Coordinators for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism, supported by the EU regional Counter-Terrorism/Security expert;
– the framework of the Western Balkans Counter-Terrorism initiative (WBCTi) as part of the Integrative Internal Security Governance (IISG), as appropriate.

Role of the EU

Primary responsibility for the actions set out in the Joint Action Plan's five objectives rests with Western Balkans partners. The EU endeavours to support them, as appropriate, in their efforts and participate in assessing their needs.
Much work is already underway at EU level to help build capacities in the Western Balkans and facilitate international police and judicial cooperation to counter threats originating from terrorism, including radicalisation leading to violent extremism, and the challenge of foreign terrorist fighters. The EU aims for this engagement to be further reinforced, based on successful initiatives in the field of security and counterterrorism and be underpinned by the ongoing security policy dialogue between the Union and the Western Balkans. The Western Balkan partners are –on an ad hoc basis ‒ more closely associated to relevant security policy discussions taking place in the EU.

Relevance for the EU

With the Balkan region looking towards the prospect of EU accession, the EU's enhanced CT/CVE support for the Balkan region is seen as an investment in the EU's security, economic growth and influence and in its ability to protect its citizens.