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News 07 Feb 18

Bosnian Serbs Block Deal With EU Police Agency

Bosnian Serbs have prevented the country from reaching an important cooperation agreement with the EU's law enforcement agency, Europol, in a row over contact addresses.

Mladen Lakic
BIRN
Sarajevo
Dragan Mektic, Minister of Security of Bosnia Photo: Anadolu

Dragan Mektic, Bosnia's Security Minister told a Wednesday meeting in Sarajevo with representatives of police agencies and interior ministers that no agreement had been reached to establish a joint contact point with Europol.

Joint contact with the Europol is the last obligation Bosnia must meet to begin implementation of an operational agreement with the European police office.

Mektic recalled that Bosnia is the only country in Europe that does not have its own officer in Europol in The Hague.

He explained that officials could not agree on what address to list in the agreement.

This is because each of Bosnia's two entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska, has its own police and interior ministries – with addresses in Sarajevo and Banja Luka respectively.

Moreover, Bosnia's Directorate for Coordination of Police Bodies of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in charge of coordinating the work of the entities' police, is also based in Sarajevo.

Bosnian Serb representatives at the meeting rejected the idea of the contact point adddress with Europol being the one of the Directorate in Sarajevo.

They claimed this would undermine and might eventually lead to the abolition of the entity's own police and interior ministry.

Mektic concluded by warning that Bosnia could not fight terrorism by itself, stressing that the issue is a matter of responsibility of all citizens in the country and required numerous operational advantages gained from links to Europol.

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