Coordination of Security and Justice Work in the Western Balkans
In the 1990s, security threats in the Western Balkans were analysed primarily through national lenses, with neighbouring states perceiving each other as their main threats. Since then, there has been a transition toward an understanding that there are common threats, whose appropriate tackling requires transborder coordination and cooperation (Knezović et al., 2018). The strategic documents of Western Balkan countries state that regional cooperation is essential to their national and overall regional security – and in the context of Euro-Atlantic integration (Jakešević, 2019). Key priorities in regional security and justice cooperation are fighting transborder organised crime, combating corruption, cooperation on migration, asylum and refugees and protection of fundamental rights (Bechev et al., 2015). This involves cooperation among police, prosecutors, border control and other officials working in security and justice sectors. The vast majority of literature on mechanisms to coordinate security and justice work in Western Balkans centres on the regional level. As such, this report discusses coordination and cooperation efforts and mechanisms primarily at the regional level. Within the time-frame allocated, it was not possible to engage in in-depth research on each of the individual countries within the Western Balkans to uncover country level coordination mechanisms.