The Baltic Sea States will discuss the fight against organized crime during the High-Level Strategic Meeting


On Thursday November 30 and Friday, December 1 in Jūrmala, at the Baltic Beach Hotel premises, the High-Level Strategic Meeting of the Baltic Sea Task Force (BSTF) on Organized Crime will take place. 

The personal representatives of the Heads of Governments of the Member States will discuss the best practices and further cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region, in order to ensure effective fight against organized crime.

Latvia holds the Presidency of the BSFT this year; therefore, the meeting will be opened and chaired by the authorized representative of the Prime Minister, the State Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior Mr Dimitrijs Trofimovs.

Representatives of the Heads of Governments of the Member States from Denmark, Estonia, the Russian Federation, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Finland, Germany and Sweden will participate in the meeting and discuss the good practices for combating crime.

In response to the new challenges, during the Latvian Presidency, a new working group on combating illegal migration has been established and a new format for cooperation on border security issues has been developed. Within the framework of the Latvian Presidency, a continuous and effective work of the BSTF Illicit Circulation and Prevention of Drugs Sub-Group was ensured.

Secure region is one of the long-term priorities of the Council of the Baltic Sea States. Numerous cooperation networks and structures of the Council support the successful implementation of this priority, providing an opportunity for the cross-border cooperation between the law enforcement agencies. The BSTF is one of those initiatives.

The BSTF activities are coordinated through rotation principle every 2 years by the presiding country through its secretariat. In 2017/2018 Latvia holds the Presidency of the BSTF, where the Ministry of the Interior has a leading role in overseeing the course of the Presidency, while the State Police is responsible for the Secretariat functions. During the Latvian Presidency there were three BSTF Operational Planning Meetings organized.
The personal representatives of the Heads of Governments of the Member States adopt strategic decisions of the BSTF, while the implementation of those decisions on the operational level is responsibility of the Operational Planning and Coordination Format. The representatives of police, customs and border guard, as well as high-level representatives of the ministries of interior and justice, joined by the permanent observers from European Commission, Interpol, Europol, Eurojust, Frontex are all engaged in this Format.