Europe’s global organised crime challenge focus of INTERPOL Regional Conference


The growing threat and globalisation of organised crime was the major theme of INTERPOL’s European Regional Conference hosted in Tirana, Albania.

Over the three-day conference that took place between 11-13 June, some 160 senior police representatives from across the region and beyond addressed emerging security threats in Europe, fighting organised crime and the future challenges of policing. Migration, cyber-enabled crime and drug trafficking were also discussed.

The conference was opened by the Interior Minister of Albania Taulant Balla, who said, “Today’s crimes are increasingly international. It is crucial that there is coordination among all the different players in maintaining a global security architecture.

“INTERPOL is the best global organisation to provide this platform for cooperation; INTERPOL is the trusted partner to assist police in every member country to work directly with their counterparts, even between countries which do not have diplomatic relations.

“As we all come from different countries and we naturally speak different languages, meanwhile, organised crime speaks the same language, the language of ‘illegal financial gain at any cost’, through cybercrimes, trafficking of human beings, narcotics, weapons, fraud, money laundering; activities which take place at the expense of our honest and innocent citizens.”

INTERPOL President, Ahmed Naser Al-Raisi, added, “This year, the European Regional Conference comes at a time when Europe’s security landscape is changing fast. From the rise of cybercrime, terrorism, climate change, to the migration challenges, Europe requires a unified and strategic policing response to these ongoing issues.

“In light of these challenges, the European Regional Conference presents an opportunity for member countries, to engage in fruitful conversations, share intelligence, and enhance collaborative strategies.”

Jurgen Stock, Secretary General of INTERPOL, said: “Senior police officials from across Europe are meeting to better understand the criminal threats facing Europe, how these threats continue to change and develop, and what we can do – together – to tackle them.

“We know that many people in Europe see this problem as something foreign – something that affects other people, in other countries – but we police officers know that it is affecting every country, and every community.

“We also know we can only take on these challenges together. It may not be easy, but the solution cannot be found by only working with allies or in your region. We need to work globally – not just in Europe – to tackle this growing menace of organised crime.”

In November 2023, at its General Assembly in Vienna, INTERPOL agreed a Vienna Declaration, which set out the Organisation’s concerns about this growth in organised crime.

It also outlined the long-term steps needed to tackle it – prioritisation at the highest governmental levels, greater investment in technology, empowering front line police, and increased cooperation and information sharing.

INTERPOL’s European region is the most active, conducting 4.2 billion searches of the Organisation’s databases in 2023, nearly half of all checks made globally.

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