Migration and Home Affairs

Security Union: EU and Western Balkans countries lay the groundwork for a strengthened future partnership in the fight against firearms trafficking

Thursday, 27 June, 2019

Today, the Commission is presenting its assessment of the 2015-2019 action plan countering firearms trafficking between the European Union and the South-eastern region of Europe, agreed in Belgrade in December 2014.

The assessment demonstrates the added-value of European cooperation by improving networking between law enforcement officials in the region as well as the exchange of operational information between the EU and Western Balkans. The assessment also makes clear that modernising law enforcement and capacity-building are both processes that take time.

Our evaluation demonstrated that:

  • Further effort is still required to put in place efficient national coordination centres on firearms (national focal points) in all countries.
  • A more effective firearms trafficking penal chain would lead to truly deterring convictions.
  • Further improved exchange of information and intelligence between the EU and Western Balkan partners is required.
  • Harmonising the collection of data on firearms’ seizures and standardising their reporting should be key operational priorities for future work.

The European Union and our Western Balkans partners face common challenges, and this basic fact will guide the follow-up work the Commission decides to undertake. But in light of changing realities on the ground, clear operational objectives will need to be defined with detailed performance indicators and clear steering structure put in place as well. The Commission is prepared to support our Member States, our Western Balkans’ partners, European Agencies and international organisations to deliver progress in this area.

For more information