13 September 2018 - Mutual coordination, timely exchange of information and experiences, as well as the improvement of existing cooperation mechanisms are the basis for the efficient implementation of actions of security interest, Internal Affairs Minister Mevludin Nuhodžić said at the ministerial meeting in Vienna held on September 13, 2018.
The conference, which took place under the Austrian presidency of the European Union, attended by the ministers of the internal affairs of the Western Balkan countries and EU member states, was an opportunity for Montenegro to sign the Agreement on the automated exchange of DNA data, fingerprint data and vehicle registration data, implemented within the framework of the Convention on Police Cooperation in South East Europe. On this occasion, Minister Nuhodžić noted that this agreement represents a key step towards a more efficient fight against cross-border, serious and organised crime, illegal migration and terrorism, and reminded that Montenegro undertook all necessary preparatory actions to adjust its systems for the forthcoming automatic data exchange.
The conference was also an opportunity for ministers to discuss current migration challenges. In that regard, the Internal Affairs Minister pointed out that by adopting a new legislative framework, harmonised with European standards, a clear action was taken by all relevant stakeholders. Minister Nuhodžić said that despite that Montenegro is on the so-called "Coastal Route", the lack of interest of migrants to participate in the international protection process continues to exist because Montenegro is not perceived as the ultimate destination and that therefore, in most cases, the proceedings are suspended.
Speaking about the security aspect of migration, Minister Nuhodžić reminded of the establishment of mixed patrols involving members of the police and army on the border with Albania and joint patrols with other neighbouring countries, thus preventing illegal entry into the country, as well as other illegal actions at the border and in the border zone. He pointed out that cooperation with the European Agency for Border and Coast Guard (FRONTEX) is of great importance for the issue of illegal migration, especially in the part of the exchange of operational data. He is hopeful that Montenegro will soon implement the activities under the agreement with FRONTEX in order to contribute to meeting the objectives defined by the Enlargement Strategy.
The topic of the meeting in Vienna was terrorism, and on this occasion, Minister Nuhodžić said that although the scope and degree of risk from this phenomenon are lower than in the countries in the region, Montenegro takes significant measures and activities in order to prevent and suppress all forms of violent extremism, radicalisation and terrorism. He emphasised the importance of cooperation within the Western Balkans Anti-Terrorism Initiative (WBCTi), which was supported by the competent European Union bodies and the ministers of internal affairs and justice of the countries of the Western Balkans.