DCAF Border Security Programme
In order to assist the governments of South-East Europe (SEE) in the establishment of a reliable and efficient border security systems, the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) and its partners have, starting from 2002, delivered a programme aimed at providing assistance in a number of areas, ranging from national capacity-building to the development of regional operational cooperation mechanisms. The programme also aims at addressing strategic goals related to the provision of border security, providing assistance in achieving full compliance with the EU/Schengen demands and requirements and on the enhancement of the security of citizens, while supporting the free movement of people, goods and ideas.
In 2012, the Border Security Programme was transferred from Geneva to the permanent office of DCAF in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Along with structural and organisational changes the Programme has been reshaped in order to be even more efficient and result oriented. Additionally, the activities of the Programme are synchronised with implementation process of the Police Cooperation Convention for Southeast Europe (PCC SEE) to avoid the unnecessary overlapping of activities.
The aim of the Program for the period from 2012 to 2015 is to support the development, promotion, harmonization and implementation of relevant concepts, norms, standards, strategies and policies in border security in the Western Balkans Region according to the EU policies and objectives.
The Programme consists of three main components:
- EU/Schengen Integration;
- Education and Training;
- Common and Coordinated Measures in Crime Prevention, Fight against Organized Crime falling within the responsibility of Border Police Forces, and the Fight against Illegal Migration.
The decision-making role in the development of the Program is in the competence of the governments of the Republic of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, and the Republic of Serbia. In this regard the Ministers of the Interior of the South-East European countries continuously review the progress of the programme and hold annual Conferences at which they approve the Action Plan for the forthcoming year, outlining the objectives.
Goals and objectives of the programme 2012 - 2015
As stated in the Ministerial Declaration on Border Security in South - East Europe 2012, signed by all Ministers of Interior/Security in the region during the 9th Annual Ministerial Review Conference on Border Security in 2012, stated that the significant progress achieved in the past years should be enhanced with concrete and specific forms of cooperation.
According to the signed Ministerial Declaration and in order to ensure the implementation of the set goals, the Action plan for 2012-2015 consists of four specific goals, falling under the three main components of the Border Security Programme. These goals include:
A. Strategic development, steering and monitoring of the process
B. Common and Coordinated measures
i. Common operations
ii. Cooperation in the area of surveillance of green and blue borders
iv. Early Warning Systems and Risk Analysis
C. Preparation of beneficiary states for EU/Schengen integration
i. To enhance the administrative capacities of the border police and the MoI and provide them access to the necessary expertise and support for negotiations under the new (structured)
approach to Chapter 24 of the EU Acquis, primarily for development of high quality strategic documents (such as action plans, roadmaps...) that need to be adequately prepared in order
to fulfil the responsibilities arising from EU and Schengen integration
ii. To transfer knowledge on relevant existing EU legislation as well as on measures that are under preparation, thus creating the conditions for adequate preparation of the required positions,
explanations and other documents required for the EU accession negotiations
iii. To assist the SEE countries in preparing specific documents required in the negotiation process
D. Common Education and training
Future development of the DCAF Border Security Programme will be based on close cooperation and coordination with FRONTEX, EUROPOL and other EU agencies. Furthermore, the Police Cooperation Convention for Southeast Europe (PCC SEE) offers a solid and reliable legal basis to increase overall operational cooperation in the SEE region.