Bulgarian Interior Minister Mihail Mikov, his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic and Romanian interior minister Christian David have signed an agreement between the three countries on co-operation against organised crime, including a focus on countering trafficking in drugs and cigarettes and providing for joint anti-terrorist training.
The agreement was signed in Belgrade on September 29 2008.
Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) reported Dacic as saying that trafficking in drugs and cigarettes was one of the worst problems on the Bulgaria-Serbia border.
The Bulgarian side suggested measures to ease the system of crossing the Bulgaria-Serbia border.
The three ministers discussed the possibility of setting up a regional rapid reaction centre to deal with natural disasters. Mikov said that the proposal had been co-ordinated with the European Commission.
According to a media statement by the Bulgarian Interior Ministry, the agreement says that the three countries are concerned about the serious proportions that crime has reached in recent years at national and international level, which constitutes a serious threat to internal security and stability in the Balkans.
For this reason, Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia agreed on co-operation in prevention, detection and investigation of organised crime, and against serious crimes against persons, cross-border crime, terrorist acts, production and trafficking of drugs and weapons, and people trafficking.
The three countries will co-operate in preventing illegal economic activities, suspicious transactions, money laundering, smuggling, sexual exploitation, counterfeiting money, documents and trademarks. They will unite their efforts against cyber-crime, corruption
and extortion, the agreement said.
The interior ministries will exchange information, experience and expertise in combating transnational crime.
Speaking at a news conference after the signing, Dacic said: “We have to show in the short term that the Balkans may themselves define and pursue their priorities”.