Police Cooperation Convention for Southeast Europe

On 5 May 2006, the Police Cooperation Convention for Southeast Europe (PCC SEE) was signed on the Southeast European countries’ intention to address organized and serious cross-border crime issues affecting their region in a more comprehensive and effective manner, as well as with their desire to align their policing standards with those in the European Union and Schengen area. During the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU, the ministers responsible for home affairs from the Republic of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of North Macedonia, the Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, and the Republic of Serbia, signed the PCC SEE in Vienna on 5 May 2006. The PCC SEE entered into force on 10 October 2007. In the years following the PCC SEE ratification, the number of Contracting Parties has increased and cut across the geo-political borders - the Republic of Bulgaria acceded to the PCC SEE on 25 September 2008,  the Republic of Austria on 24 May 2011, Hungary on 6 July 2012, the Republic of Slovenia on 14 December 2012, and the Republic of Croatia on 15 February 2019.

The PCC SEE is a multilateral treaty ratified by the respective parliaments of 6 EU and 6 non-EU Member States, which serves as a legal basis for cross-border law enforcement cooperation with a wide array of modern forms of cooperation modelled on EU good practices, such as joint threat analysis, liaison officers, hot pursuit, witness protection, cross-border surveillance, controlled delivery, undercover investigations to investigate crimes and to prevent criminal offences, transmission and comparison of DNA profiles and other identification material, technical measures for facilitating cross-border cooperation, border search operations, mixed analysis working groups, joint investigation teams, mixed patrols along the state borders and cooperation in common centres.

The PCC SEE Secretariat

Following the signing of the PCC SEE in 2006, the PCC SEE Committee of Ministers supported the establishment of a technical expert body to assist the Contracting Parties in the PCC SEE implementation process. The PCC SEE Secretariat, functional as of September 2008 and located at Gospodinjska ulica 8 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, is hosted and supported by DCAF - Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF) at its regional office in Ljubljana. DCAF contributes by providing staff, premises and back-office support for the functioning of the PCC SEE Secretariat, while the Contracting Parties themselves also contribute with secondments (currently Austria). 

The mandate and tasks of the PCC SEE Secretariat, as well as the allocation of necessary financial and human resources, is envisaged in the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation and Support Regarding the PCC SEE Secretariat, signed between the Ministers of the Contracting Parties responsible for home affairs and DCAF:

  1. To execute the tasks specified by the PCC SEE Committee of Ministers and the Expert Working Group.
  2. To coordinate, harmonize and catalogue all PCC SEE-related activities, including the Contracting Parties’ legislative agenda and exchange of good practices regarding the national implementation of the Convention’s provisions.
  3. To catalogue all bilateral and multilateral agreements concluded within the framework of the PCC SEE.
  4. To prepare meetings of the bodies foreseen by the PCC SEE (Committee of Ministers, Expert Working Group) and to coordinate activities of all working groups.
  5. To be the contact and coordination point for the Contracting Parties and international partners regarding their involvement in the implementation of the PCC SEE.
  6. To facilitate cooperation between Contracting Parties and international partners aimed at ensuring the provision of both bilateral and multilateral assistance relevant for the implementation of the PCC SEE.
  7. To develop a list of experts with knowledge and experience in the fields covered by and relevant to the PCC SEE.
  8. To report on its functions and activities under the PCC SEE directly to the PCC SEE Committee of Ministers at ministerial meetings, or indirectly through the Expert Working Group.
  9. To keep the Contracting Parties, the “PCC SEE community” and the public informed on developments related to the Convention.
  10. To perform other secretariat functions.

In May 2015, the PCC SEE Committee of Ministers also tasked the PCC SEE Secretariat to support the Contracting Parties, upon request, financially and logistically in their planning, coordinating and carrying out of operations, including the exchange of officers in various phases and all kinds of investigations, as well as in the context of mass events, in ways which will not lead to duplication of efforts in the region.