On behalf of the Slovenian Presidency, Interior Minister Aleš Hojs attended a videoconference meeting on the fight against the illegal firearms trade in Southeast Europe, aimed at strengthening regional co-operation to prevent the illegal firearms trade.
The summit, organized by the European Commission, provided policy guidance for the implementation of specific actions of the EU Firearms Illegal Trade Action Plan for 2020-2025 for South East Europe, including the implementation of a roadmap. for comprehensive control of firearms, small arms and light weapons in the Western Balkans. The availability of illegal firearms in the EU poses a major threat, as it increases the risk of their use in terrorist attacks and organized crime.
“According to the latest Threat Assessment (SOCTA), the illegal firearms trade facilitates other criminal activities, such as drug trafficking, and increases the threat of violent incidents in which the victims may be completely random people,” he said. minister Hojs. Cooperation with third countries, in particular neighboring regions, is the key to successfully addressing all security challenges, including the firearms trade.
EU Member States have made the fight against the firearms trade one of the four main priorities of the Action Plan: preventing the entry of illegal weapons into the illegal market, improving the image of intelligence, and improving law enforcement cooperation. and improving international cooperation. “Building strong partnerships, especially with our partners from the Western Balkans, has long been a priority for Slovenia, which is why it is one of the priorities of our presidency,” added Minister Hoys. The Minister also stressed: “Every plan is as good as we are successful in implementing individual measures”, and called for the implementation of political commitments.
Participation in joint operations with EU Member States is already yielding good results (participation of Western Balkan partners in the EMPACT firearms priority), but as the threat of illegal weapons remains high, the establishment and implementation of mechanisms such as the EU Action Plan and the Regional Plan are an important contribution to peace and security at regional, European and global levels.