PODGORICA – The lack of efficient cooperation between the prosecutors and police is main criminal justice challenge in the Western Balkans, it was pointed out at the panel discussion of the POINTPULSE network.
The common denominators for the Western Balkans are police politicization, the absence of competent human resource management system and insufficient inter-institutional cooperation in fighting corruption, it was highlighted at the conference “Police Reform in the Context of the EU Integration of the Western Balkans”, organized on 7 of September 2016 by the POINTPULSE network in Podgorica.
“Responsibility for resolving these issues is with the governments and police services within the region, rather than the Brussels” underlines Dina Bajramspahić from Institute Alternative.
Although the process of European integration is important for fostering police reform, some policing areas remain untouched, like special investigative means, said Andreja Bogdanovski from Analytica, Skopje.
The ultimate goal of police reform in the region is that “citizens deserve a police force that is tailored to their needs and not those of political parties” said Bojan Elek from Belgrade Centre for Security Policy.
In that context “police reform should focus on ensuring operational independence of the police and implementation of professional standards” underlines Elek.
Police reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina was a condition for advancement in EU integration process. However, real reform attempts were obstructed by politics.
“Police reforms in Bosnia created new police agencies and multiple jurisdictions”, said Sanjin Hamidičević from Centre for Security Studies, Sarajevo.
Citizen’s oriented police ask for building and maintaining public trust through promoting integrity and this is impossible without criminal justice reform, said Besjana Kuci from Tirana’s Institute for Democracy and Mediation.
“Justice reform, as one of the main criteria for the EU accession of Albania, will impact the anti-corruption reforms in the police”, emphasized Kuci.
Another key element in fighting police corruption is improving inter-institutional cooperation. ‘It is important to advance coordination between Kosovo Police, prosecutors and anti-corruption bodies’ underlines Plator Avdiu for Kosovar Centre for Security Policy.
Reforms in the region need to create independent police services able to rapidly respond to current and future security threats, it was concluded by the panelists.