Regional cooperation in justice and home affairs indispensible to EU integration of Southeast Europe, says RCC Secretary General

07 November 2008

ZAGREB/SARAJEVO – Regional cooperation in fighting organized crime and corruption, reforming judicial system, combating illegal migration, visa liberalization, and strengthening border management are of particular importance for reaching Southeast Europe’s strategic goal of European and Euro-Atlantic integration, said the RCC Secretary General Hido Biscevic at the two-day EU-Western Balkans Ministerial Forum on Justice and Home Affairs that concluded in Zagreb today.

Hosting the event, the Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader highlighted the importance of implementation of reforms in the fields of justice and home affairs for the country’s EU accession, expressing a firm belief that Croatian progress in this respect would give an additional impetus to the region’s overall EU accession.

The participants of the meeting, organized by the French EU Presidency and the Croatian Government, included the Vice President of the European Commission, Jacques Barrot, relevant justice and home affairs ministers from EU member states and Southeast Europe, and high level representatives from the incoming Czech and Swedish EU Presidencies.

Secretary General Biscevic added that the RCC supports implementation of the existing international and regional legal framework on police, law enforcement and judicial cooperation, streamlining of regional organizations, and harmonization of national legislations in the field of criminal law with the EU legal framework.

The Forum discussed the ways to strengthen the fight against corruption and trans-border crime, as well as migration, border and visa issues.