SOFIA SECURITY FORUM PROPOSED TO INVITE THE WESTERN BALKAN COUNTRIES TO JOIN THE EU’s WORKING GROUPS IN SECURITY
On the Balkans the old risks and threats are intertwining with the new ones, such as radicalization, terrorism, returning foreign terrorist fighters, intrusion of new forms of radical ideologies, migration, and others. The reforms in the security sectors need to continue, in order to build effective and efficient mechanisms and structures to cope with the new challenges, which are in nature global and exceed by far the regional dimensions.
We believe that the security of Europe is indivisible and in order to adopt effective measures they have to be based on the principles of inclusiveness and comprehensiveness.
That is why Sofia Security Forum is proposing an initiative to integrate experts from Balkan countries in some of the EU’s working groups which have coordinating roles or are engaged with the sharing of experience and good practices, such as the EU's Radicalization Awareness Network (RAN), or the High-Level Commission Expert Group on Radicalization (HLCEG-R).
Our arguments for this initiative are:
First, to efficiently address the new risks and threats facing the European Union – migration, radicalization, terrorism, returning foreign terrorist fighters and others – cooperation and coordination among the EU’s structures, the member-states, and the countries form the Western Balkans is essential.
Second, the countries from the Western Balkans are particularly susceptible to the risks of radicalization and risks related to returning foreign fighters. Moreover, in many situations they lack the expertise, regional cooperation, funding, exchange of good practices, etc. to address these threats
Third, RAN and its working groups have proven to be a successful instrument, developed by the EU, to mobilize expertise and to improve the level of knowledge and exchange of know-how related to the topic. It is for this reason that experts from the Western Balkans have expressed their interest to become a part of RAN.
Fourth, the most recent Commission’s paper on the Western Balkans envisions to incorporate ‘as appropriate, the Western Balkans in technical committees and Commission working groups’.