TIRANA (Albania), July 12 (SeeNews) – Europol, the European Union agency for law enforcement cooperation, said it officially opened on Thursday a liaison office in Albania’s capital Tirana, the first in the Western Balkans, with two others to be launched in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.
The Europol liaison officer will be complementary to the Albanian Police liaison officer stationed at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague by supporting EU member states and third-party partners in their investigations, Europol said in a press release.
Europol signed an operational agreement with Albania in December 2013.
“The Albanian authorities have been making a conscious effort to tackle serious organised crime,” Europol said, adding that the aim of Europol’s increasing presence in Tirana is to enhance even further cooperation against drug trafficking, migrant smuggling, trafficking in human beings, arms trafficking and terrorism.
There has been an increasing involvement of all Western Balkan partners and Albania in the EU Policy Cycle, it added.
“We need to align efforts to jointly tackle common challenges and cross-border threats. Europol is ready to support the Albanian authorities and connect the dots between criminal networks in Europe,” Europol executive director, Catherine De Bolle said, as quoted in the satement.