The Police Cooperation Convention for Southeast Europe was signed in Vienna on 5 May 2006 by Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro. Albania is the depositary of the Convention. The Convention entered into force on 11 July 2008 after concluding the relevant internal legal procedures in all Contracting Parties.
The subject of the Convention is the strengthening of the cooperation between the Contracting Parties in combating threats to public safety and/or order, as well as prevention, detection and investigation of criminal offences.
The Convention envisages different forms of cooperation – joint threat analysis; liaison officers; witness protection; hot pursuit; cross-border surveillance; controlled deliveries; undercover investigations, including an opportunity to send undercover officers in urgent cases without a prior consent of the requested Contracting Party; transmission and comparison of DNA profiles and other identification material; technical measures for facilitating transborder cooperation – installation of telephone, radio and telex lines and other direct links, in particular in border areas, widening the frequency bands used in border areas and others; cross-border search operations; mixed analysis working groups; joint investigation teams; mixed patrols along the state border; cooperation in common centers.
Practically the Convention is a kind of analog of the Schengen Convention. The Convention introduces Schengen standards of cooperation on improving the police interaction in the region, in order to gradually achieve compliance with the EU standards on police cooperation in all Western Balkan countries.
Accession of Bulgaria
Bulgaria participated in the negotiations on the text of the Convention but ultimately was not among the countries which signed it on 5 May 2006.
In July 2008 the Council of Ministers introduced a proposal for ratification of the Convention by Bulgaria. The Law on ratification was adopted by the National Assembly on 25 September 2008. According to the adopted Law the Convention was ratified with two reservations:
- Exchange of classified information only with the countries – Contracting Parties to the Convention with which there are international agreements on protection of the classified information in force (pursuant to Art. 113, paragraph 1 of the Law on Protection of Classified Information).
At present we have such agreements entered into force with four of the Contracting Parties – Albania, Macedonia, Moldova and Romania. Such agreements were signed also with Montenegro (24.11.2010) and with Serbia (23.12.2011), their entry into force is forthcoming. Since 2009 there are on-going consultations on a draft agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- Transfer of personal data with countries – Contracting Parties to the Convention, after a permission of the Commission for Protection of Personal Data (pursuant to Art. 36 and Art. 36a of the Law on Protection of Personal Data).
After performing the necessary notification procedures, the Convention entered into force for Bulgaria on 1 March 2009.
Accession of other countries
In August 2011 the Republic of Austria deposited its ratification instrument and PCC SEE entered into force for the country on 10 October 2011. At its accession Austria declared reservations with regard to cooperation in controlled deliveries, undercover investigations and joint investigation teams - these forms of cooperation can only occur upon authorisation by an Austian judicial authority. The Republic of Austria will give precedence to the law of the EU in relation to Contracting Parties that are Member States of the EU.
The Republic of Slovenia has also started its internal legal procedure for accession to PCC SEE.
At the last CoM meeting held on 17 November 2011 in Pravets, Hungary also informed that it is considering possible accession to PCC SEE.
PCC SEE - text
Updated on at Tuesday, January 17, 2012