Partner countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
Funding: €2.5 million
Duration: 48 months
Europol plays a central role among the Justice and Home Affairs agencies in fighting organised crime within and beyond the EU. While leading this project, Europol will contribute to reducing crime and make the Eastern Partnership region safer for its citizens.
The project will improve operational cooperation with and between the partner countries and EU Member States. The project also aims to strengthen cooperation with the EU agencies active in the field, as part of the EU policy targeting organised and serious international crime (EMPACT). Promoting operational cooperation with the Eastern Partnership region benefits the operational implementation of the EU policy cycle. By aligning with the EU policy cycle, the project will provide the expertise and required coordination in all relevant crime areas.
The main purpose of this project will:
- strengthen the institutional knowledge of partner countries and the capacity of the EU policy cycle priority crime areas, and increase cooperation within EMPACT;
- enhance intelligence capacity in the Eastern Partnership region;
- increase operational cooperation with EU Member States and agencies, including through EMPACT.
Europol will lead the activities with partner countries via direct funding of operational meetings and grants awarded to EU Member States.
The activities planned are:
- coordinate a regional seminar on the EU policy for organised and serious international crime to involve the partner countries in EMPACT;
- prepare an annual conference with representatives from partner countries, EU Member States, EU institutions and agencies;
- engage with the partner countries to establish and enhance cooperation concerning relevant investigations and operations of EU Member States supported by EU agencies;
- collaborate with partnerships countries on operational task forces and joint investigation teams;
- facilitate operational meetings for investigations of relevance to the partner countries conducted by EU Member States and supported by Europol and other relevant agencies.
The target groups of the project are law enforcement authorities, the security sector and judiciary and prosecution services from the Eastern Partnership region. The private sector may also be involved where relevant.
The project seeks to find opportunities of mutual benefit with other stakeholders, projects and actions in the Eastern Partnership region. The project will work with EU delegations, inform them of relevant projects and involve them in the activities taking place in the jurisdictions covered by each delegation.
Other opportunities for cooperation include:
- TOPCOP, an EU-funded project led by the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL), of which Europol is an implementing partner;
- the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI);
- the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy with the EU Advisory Mission Ukraine and the EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine;
- other regional projects of the EU, Member States and regional and international organisations.