TASK FORCE STATUS: Since October 2002 - still active
The overall objective of the SPOC Initiative is to strengthen regional capacities to combat organised crime in accordance with the EU and internationally recognised standards. The mandate of SPOC is to facilitate dialogue with the international and regional representatives of the legal, academic, donor and law enforcement communities. - Page Update: 28 March 2006
International analysis and discussions with representatives from the region have confirmed that one of the most serious problems within the region is transnational organised crime.
Organised crime has infiltrated some SEE government structures during the 80s and 90s. Today, organised crime is eroding some of the benefits, particularly investment and business opportunities that SEE countries have started to enjoy after the consolidation and improvements in the last years. The lack of coordinated action has enabled organised crime to reach devastating levels, also undermining democratisation, human rights and respect for the law.
The Special Coordinator of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe (SCSP) stated from the beginning that support to SEE countries required coordination on multiple levels simultaneously to combat organised crime. In order to be effective, the Stability Pact Initiative against Organised Crime (SPOC) was launched in October 2002. It operates under the auspices of Working Table III/Security/Sub-Table Justice and Home Affairs.
A. The SPOC Board
The SPOC Board meets twice per year. It consists of representatives of the SEE states, principle International Organisations, the EU member-states, major donor countries and NGOs active in the research field against organised crime. In general, the board is open to all actors who intend to commit their efforts to combat organised crime in SEE. This includes representatives from the law enforcement community, the legal community, the academic world, regional expertise and the donor community. It is expected that the present group will grow. The Board debates national and regional strategies and projects concerning capacity building, awareness raising and legislative reforms. It is also involved in policy advocacy.
B. The SPOC Board Chairman
The Chairman of Working Table III, Mr. Janez Premoze supervises the work of the SPOC initiative on an interim basis since 1st March 2006. The Brussels-based team and the Bucharest Secretariat support his work.
C. The SPOC Secretariat Bucharest
The SPOC Secretariat serves as an information hub and acts as the support unit. It has been operational since late 2003 providing legal expertise to the countries of the region in harmonising their legal framework with EU and international standards. It supports the strengthening of existing and the development of new mechanisms for regional cooperation against organised crime. The Secretariat is located in the Parliament building in Bucharest in premises provided by the Romanian government. The Secretariat is headed by Mr. Sorin Sterie and supported by three other lawyers (Romanian, Serbian, German) and a Romanian Executive Assistant.
Sorin Sterie, Acting Head of SPOC Secretariat,
Tel: +32 2 401 61 24
EU Legal Advisor
Tel: +40 21 402 21 62
Mob: +40 720 077 575
Tiberius Llie Moldovan
Tel: +40-21 402 21 72
SEE Legal Advisor
Tel: +40-21 402 21 54
Tel: +40 21 402 21 55
Mob: +40 744 380 726
D. The SP/SPOC Brussels team
A Brussels-based expert, Mr. Sorin Sterie, in collaboration with the Secretariat in Bucharest, works for SCSP Working Table III's Justice and Home Affairs team. He provides legal expertise and maintains regular contacts with the donor community and other SCSP Initiatives related to criminal issues. He also communicates with counterparts from the European Commission and the European Council. The Brussels-based Justice and Home Affairs junior lawyer Ms Rovena DEMIRAJ, supports the work of SPOC within SCSP Working Table for Security issues.
SPOC's work is based on a wide range of instruments:
London Statement on Organised Crime (November 2002); Thessaloniki Declaration on Western Balkan (June 2003); EU-Western Balkans Forum JHA Ministerial Meeting (December 2005); SEECP joint statement on JHA (February 2006), the SPOC board session in Bled (October 2005); the Working Table III meeting in Prague (November 2005). Its activities are in line with the acquis communautaire and the Stabilisation and Association process.
It also takes into account additional sources such as the Assessment of the SECI Regional Center for Combating Trans-Border Crime Final Report from August 2004, the report of the Friends of the Presidency on concrete measures to be taken to effectively enhance the fight against organised crime originating from the Western Balkans and the Transcrime study "The Contribution of Data Exchange Systems to the Fight Against Organised Crime in the SEE Countries" from November 2004.
SPOC Secretariat Bucharest
Str. Izvor nr. 2-4, Sector 5,
050563 Bucharest, Romania
SPOC Programme & Working Priorities
Joint Statement of the Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs from the States participating in the SEECP on a Joint Campaign to fight Organised Crime and Corruption in SEE, Bucharest, 18 May 2004
- EU-Western Balkans Forum , JHA Ministerial Meeting, Joint Conclusions, Brussels, 28 November 2003
- Sarajevo Declaration of the Ministers of Justice and State Representatives from South Eastern Europe ("Sarajevo II") concerning the implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, Sarajevo, 28 October 2003
- The EU-Western Balkans Summit in Thessaloniki , 21 June 2003
- Sarajevo I Declaration of the Ministers of Interior or Public Order and State Representatives from South Eastern Europe concerning the fight against organised crime, regarding in particular Data protection and processing, as well as Witness protection, 18 June 2003
- London Statement on Defeating Organised Crime in SEE , 25 November 2002
SPOC Board Meetings
Progress Reports of the SPOC Chairman
- Progress Report of the SPOC Board Chairman - Working Table III, Prague, 15 November 2005
- Progress Report of the SPOC Board Chairman - Working Table III, Sofia, 17 May 2005
- Progress Report of the SPOC Board Chairman - Working Table III, Skopje, 17 November 2004
- Progress Report of the SPOC Board Chairman - Working Table III, Portoroz, 7 June 2004
- Progress Report of the SPOC Board Chairman - Working Table III, Tirana, December 2003
Regional Table Meetings [Go to RT Link]
- Crime in Balkans "Can be Beaten", but Joint Effort Vital , Brussels, 2 December 2004
- Stability Pact Strengthens Security Initiative in South Eastern Europe, Hubert Pirker (Austria) chairs the Stability Pact Initiative against Organised Crime , Brussels, 5 November 2004
- SC Busek Welcomes Independent Assessment of the SECI Regional Center for Combating Trans-Border Crime , Brussels, 24 September 2004
- SEECP Ministers Reaffirming Commitment to Improve Instruments to Fight Organised Crime and Corruption , Bucharest, 18 May 2004.
For further information,
Regional Cooperation Council
Trg Bosne i Hercegovine 1 / V
Bosna i Hercegovina
Phone +387 33 561 700
Fax +387 33 561 701