A co-ordination conference for the Western Balkans region on preventing document fraud was held on 11 and 12 September 2019 in Vienna, organised by the OSCE’s Transnational Threats Department in close co-operation with the FRONTEX Center of Excellence for Combating Document Fraud
The conference gathered 60 participants representing the EU member states, international and regional organizations as well as document experts from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia.
Document and identity fraud remains one of the biggest challenges for international and national security as it is a key element of various criminal activities, such as trafficking, smuggling and terrorism. The FRONTEX and the OSCE are actively supporting activities to detect identity and document fraud to prevent and combat cross border crime. This is why the two organizations teamed up to build comprehensive situational awareness and to identify gaps or overlaps where enhanced co-ordination among multiple stakeholders is required. The aim of these efforts is also to agree on an effective co-ordination mechanism to adequately support and complement the two organizations’ operations and make an efficient use of resources in Western Balkans.
The first day of the conference concentrated on information sharing. The international and regional organizations UNODC, IOM, FRONTEX, PCC SEE and SELEC presented their activities and plans for the Western Balkans region. During the second day the participants explored the needs of Western Balkan states. They had an opportunity to get actively involved in practical exercises on needs identification.