The EU Supports the Eastern Partnership Countries in Their Fight Against Organized Crime

The EU Supports the Eastern Partnership Countries in Their Fight Against Organized Crime
27 July 2020 | 07:34

The European Union (EU) launched a new project to support the Eastern partner countries in their fight against organised crime. The project is worth €6 million and it will reinforce the connection between law enforcement training and operations and provide an up-to-date picture of organised crime in the region. The project will also support international law enforcement cooperation by making full use of CEPOL’s and Europol’s long-standing expertise in assessing and delivering on law enforcement training needs and analysing crime data.

On 24 July, the European Commission and the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL) launched a new project to support the Eastern partner countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine) in their fight against organised crime.

“We are proud to contribute to the fight against organised crime in our partner countries as well as in the EU,” said Lawrence Meredith, director of Neighbourhood East at the European Commission.

“Organised crime networks operate across national borders and by intensifying cooperation, we can make sure crime does not pay. It is our common goal to create a safe and just society for all,” he added.

The project ‘TOPCOP’ aims at improving operational effectiveness across the Eastern partner countries. It will also reinforce the connection between law enforcement training and operations and provide an up-to-date picture of organised crime in the region.

The project will create networks of capacity-building contact points, to close any gaps between law enforcement training and operational law enforcement efforts. It will also identify learning needs to provide regional and targeted training based on evidence and commonalities.

To support international law enforcement cooperation, the project will make full use of CEPOL’s and Europol’s long-standing expertise in assessing and delivering on law enforcement training needs, and analysing crime data.

The European Commission has committed €6 million for this project, which will run for 48 months. ‘TOPCOP’ will be implemented by CEPOL and supported by the authorities of the Eastern partner countries and the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation.

According to the Overseas Security Advisory Council, in Moldova, the organized crime is prevalent. The deterioration of stability in southern Ukraine has also contributed to an increase in organized criminal activity, especially in southern Moldova, where smuggling of stolen and illegal goods is most common. Moldova’s location is ideal for smuggling into the EU. Commercial goods are most frequently smuggled to avoid customs charges. Human trafficking and drug smuggling are also present.

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