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Brdo Process Ministerial Conference on integrative internal security governance initiative in the Western Balkans

Today, 8 September 2017, the Ministry of the Interior organised a Brdo Process Ministerial Conference. This year's sixth informal meeting of interior ministers, held at Brdo Congress Centre and chaired by the Slovenian Interior Minister Vesna Györkös Žnidar, was meant to officially launch an initiative on Integrative Internal Security Governance (IISG) in the Western Balkans, whose concept was endorsed by the ministers at their last Brdo meeting in April 2016.

The conclusions of the meeting were presented by the Interior Minister Vesna Györkös Žnidar in a press release following the meeting. She began by pointing out that the security threats are becoming increasingly trans-national and that only through efficient cooperation between all countries of Southeast Europe can we effectively face the challenges. "In the recent years, a lot has been accomplished and I am happy to say that Slovenia played an important role in this. At the Brdo Process Ministerial Meeting in 2014 we thus proposed to create an initiative to combat terrorism in the region (i.e. Western Balkan Counter Terrorism initiative) and received support for this initiative by the region, the EU and all international counter-terrorism stakeholders."


The concept created within the framework of this initiative was extended by the ministers at 2016 Brdo Process to include two important fields of internal security, serious and organised crime and border security. The Integrative Internal Security Governance initiative in the Western Balkans received wide support as well and so today the ministers and other high-level representatives expressed their support for the establishment of a structure that will enable the implementation of the set tasks and priorities.


According to the minister, "the vital objective of the new initiative is regional cooperation that will more effectively support the Western Balkan countries in transposing EU standards in the field of policing, border protection and fight against the most dangerous threats to internal security, while contributing to the improvement of the security situation in the region." This initiative will therefore launch a process of internal security governance in the Southeast European region that has never existed before.


The European Commission has demonstrated a great deal of understanding for the region's requirements and also financially supported this project. Slovenia will play an important role in the new structure, as the Brdo Process platform will host the meetings of the Committee of Ministers and other high-level representatives of all stakeholders implementing projects in the Western Balkan countries. Furthermore, we will assume the leading role in one of the pillars of the initiative, i.e. prevention of and fight against of terrorism.


The IISG structure consists of the following three pillars:

- prevention of and fight against terrorism and prevention of radical and violent extremism leading to terrorism,

- serious and organised crime,

- border security.


Each pillar will have its lead partners. Slovenia, together with Austria and the Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), will be the lead partner of the first pillar dealing with the fight against terrorism.


The participants of the Ministerial Conference also selected Rajko Kozmelj, a former official of the Ministry of the Interior, the President of the initiative.


On the margins of the conference the minister met with the Macedonian Minister of the Interior Oliver Spasovski. She emphasised that cooperation between the two ministries and police forces is good and ensured support to Macedonia in its reforms and in the process of its integration with the European Union. Regarding migration she said that we are strongly aware of the problem of the increased migration pressure and are actively involved in seeking solutions.