- STRENGTHENING THE CAPACITIES OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND JUDICIARY IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION IN SERBIA
The EU has been providing long term support to Border Police Directorate of the Ministry of Interior which helped Serbia to both enhance its security and provide its citizens visa free regime of traveling across Europe. Since 2001, more than €45.5 million has been allocated to the sector. This assistance resulted in numerous improvements, among which the most important is visa free regime liberalisation for Serbian citizens in the Schengen zone.
The importance of the training provided to the Ministry of the Interior and the donated equipment provided control and security of the Serbian state border, increasing security of Serbian citizens.
The major role in equipping the Border Police Directorate of the Ministry of Interior belongs to the EU, through the projects CARDS and IPA. This resulted in completely renewed car fleet (commercial and all-terrain vehicles), purchase of patrol boats for securitisation of the “blue border”, stationary and mobile video surveillance equipment, as well as other sophisticated equipment.
The assistance covered all the main border posts of Serbia with a special attention to the border posts of Horgos, Presevo, Batrovci and Dimitrovgrad.
– Most needed upgrade of border posts (construction and re-construction) was realised with the support of €25.5 million covering EU assistance (CARDS) from 2001 to 2006.
– Technological upgrade and training to improve Border Control Standards and Border Crossing Control Information System was supported with €21 million.
Nowadays, controls at the border are performed in a professional manner, with sophisticated equipment purchased with EU funds. Borders are open for trade and free movement of persons and, at the same time, closed for all possible criminal and illegal activities.
IMPROVING LIFE & SAVING LIVES
Apart from professional purposes, border mobile equipment often had the effect of saving lives. That was a case when mobile video surveillance systems, donated by the EU, detected a mother with a small child in an attempt to cross the state border on hardly passable terrain during hostile weather conditions (winter time with a lot of snow). The mother and her child were saved from a certain death of freezing.
The equipment donated by EU detected numerous attempts of illegal border crossings, saving lives and allowing to start investigation on criminal groups behind the smuggling of people.
The EU will continue its assistance in the sector.
Jelena Vasilijevic, Assistant Head of the Border Police Directorate at Ministry of Internal Affairs,