MEPs: Lack of genuine political will in fighting organised crime in W. Balkans

NEWS 26.10.2021 18:02
Source: N1

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) reported that organised crime was a major obstacle to Western Balkans’ development, an EP press release said on Tuesday.

The report, adopted by the Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday, says Western Balkan countries are countries of origin, destination and transit for human trafficking, and they serve as a transit corridor for migrants and refugees and as a location for money laundering and firearms trafficking, according to the press release.

It adds that regretting a lack of genuine political will on local political elites to fight organised crime, MEPs want Western Balkan countries to address the shortcomings of their respective criminal-justice systems, including the length of legal proceedings fully.

In a report on cooperation in the fight against organised crime in the Western Balkans, MEPs urged governments in the region to significantly increase their efforts to go forward with reforms in the area of the rule of law and the fight against corruption organised crime, the release said.

It added MEPs insisted that “fighting organised crime and advancing towards European Union integration are mutually reinforcing processes and call for an accelerated integration process.”

The EU should, according to MEPs, support these efforts through financial assistance and practical cooperation.

It adds that the main factors that make Western Balkans societies vulnerable are the lack of employment opportunities, corruption, disinformation, elements of state capture, inequality, and foreign interference from non-democratic regimes such as Russia and China.

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