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Meeting of South East Europe Cooperation Process Ministers, held in Skopje on 3 April 2024

Skopje, 3 April 2024 (MIA, RCC) – Caretaker Minister of Interior Mr. Panche Toshkovski hosted on Wednesday the ministerial meeting that took place in Skopje as part of North Macedonia's chairpersonship of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP).

Minister Toshkovski delivered a speech at the ministerial meeting that focuses on regional security challenges in Southeast Europe with a focus on combatting organized crime, migrant smuggling, and human trafficking, and expressed his satisfaction with the near-complete attendance of participants in the Process, representing various levels, which demonstrates their commitment to this initiative. He underscored the collective support provided to uphold peace, security, stability, solidarity, and the already acknowledged good neighborly relations at the European level, the Ministry of Interior said in a press release.

He noted that organized crime rapidly spreads worldwide and represents a growing threat to societies and citizens. Dynamic and multidimensional in character, Toshkovski said, organized crime adjusts to new technologies and rapid digitization, bringing about new challenges in maintaining security on both regional and global levels.

“Our joint efforts are crucial and beneficial not only for the broader public but also for the citizens of our economies, for whose well-being and security we, as officials in the Ministries, are committed to working. We owe our citizens a more stable, secure, and economically advanced Southeast Europe. Let us continue working together towards that goal and provide it for them," Toshkovski said.

During the opening address, the Head of RCC’s Political Department, Mr. Amer Kapetanović, emphasized: “With Common Regional Market and Growth Plan, the socio-economic transformation of the region is in our focus. But there is no economic betterment without a more secure environment. Our region is vulnerable due to economic determinants & geography - thus becoming a natural transit route 4 many illicit traffickers & organized crime. According to our Securimeter, 60% of WB citizens consider organized crime as the most dangerous security threat, followed by illegal migration & misuse of firearms, as well as terrorism and hybrid threats. We cannot change global challenges, but we can tighten up the cooperation & work closely to identify all challenges and mitigate risks. To that end, RCC remains open to serve the region by steering these processes aimed at filling regional security gaps & helping other partners to do the same.”

Following the meeting, SEECP ministers agreed upon a joint declaration on enhancing security cooperation and mutual trust in the fight against all types of crime to address threats at a strategic and operational level effectively.


(Photo: Ministry of Interior of North Macedonia)

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