Swiss Federal Council Member Sommaruga at the Conference on Police Co-operation in South-Eastern Europe

Press Release, FDJP, 08.04.2014

Berne. On Tuesday, Swiss Federal Minister of Police and Justice, Simonetta Sommaruga, attended the Ministerial Conference on Regional Police Co-operation in South-Eastern Europe in Opatija, Croatia. Switzerland organised the Conference jointly with Croatia. On the fringes of the Conference, Sommaruga discussed Croatian citizens' access to the Swiss labour market with the Croatian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Vesna Pusić, and the Croatian Minister of the Interior, Ranko Ostojić. On this occasion, matters concerning the referendum of 9 February were also discussed.

At the Opatija Conference, senior representatives of approximately a dozen states from the region and various international governmental and non-governmental organisations discussed the challenges of policing in a multicultural environment and the phenomenon of trans-border crime. The participants agreed that international co-operation should be intensified. For example, action is required in the area of training, as well as employing police officers with backgrounds in migration.

The Conference was held as part of the Swiss Programme for Regional Police Co-operation in the Western Balkans. The programme supports police reform processes in the partner states of the region to the amount of 5.68 million Swiss francs and will last until 2016. Its objective is to improve cross-border co-operation, create trust between neighbouring countries, and support harmonised and western European policing standards. The Swiss co-operation programme will be supported by the professional expertise of various federal services and co-ordinated by the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF). The co-operation programme builds on existing police co-operation with the states of the region and is also of great importance to the Swiss police and prosecution authorities.

Exchange of Views on Access to the Swiss Labour Market

On the fringes of the Police Conference, Federal Council member Sommaruga also spoke with Croatian partners about the question of Croatian citizens' access to the Swiss labour market. In Zagreb, she met the Croatian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Vesna Pusić, and in Opatija the Minister of the Interior, Ranko Ostojić. Both meetings were held in a friendly and constructive atmosphere in which it became clear that both countries are eager to find a solution which would avoid any discrimination against Croatian citizens.

Her stay in Croatia marked the end of Federal Council member Sommaruga's five-day official visit to Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.

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