Sofia – Chairman of the Domestic Policy and National Security Committee, Mr. Ranko Ostojić participated at the Second Meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group on the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) founded pursuant to the Conclusions of the Conference of Speakers of the European Union Parliaments in April 2017.
The Meeting was attended by more than 200 participants in order to exchange views on the past and future cooperation of Europol with the Western Balkans countries, Europol’s Multi-annual objectives 2017-2019, Europol External Strategy 2017-2020, countering illegal content online and optimizing cybersecurity, Europol's contribution to the fight against terrorism and the prevention of organized crime. After the exchange of views, Rules of Procedure for the JPSG were adopted.
Chairman of the Domestic Policy and National Security Committee, Mr. Ostojić welcome the excellent and longstanding work performed by Mr. Rob Wainwright, Executive Director of Europol stressing his strong belief that Ms. Catherine De Bolle, appointed on 8 March 2018, by the European Council as the new Executive Director of Europol, would continue this excellent work. Reflecting on the proposal of Europol’s Multi-annual objectives 2017-2019, he expressed the opinion that the European Union and Member States are reacting too slowly, not only in the area of information exchange, but also in terms of cooperation with the Western Balkans countries.
He reminded that the initiative to post Europol liaison officers to the Western Balkans states was launched ten years ago, and its implementation is only accessible right now. Taking into account the fact that seven per cent of the most serious criminals in the European Union come from the Western Balkans region, Ostojić believes that the accession period provides an extraordinary opportunity for the European Union to influence candidate countries and potential candidates from the Western Balkans region to implement the necessary reforms and realize progress in cooperation with Europol in the fight against serious and organized crime and terrorism.
As Croatia will hold the EU Council presidency in the first half of 2020, the Croatian Parliament, i.e. the relevant parliamentary Domestic Policy and National Security Committee, will host a meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group on Europol.