Cooperation and coordination on the EU Support Hub platform in Chisinau aimed at countering terrorism

Chisinau, May 10th, 2023: The most efficient methods of collaboration and coordination aimed at preventing the threats of terrorism on the European continent are discussed today on the platform of the European Union Support Hub for Internal Security and Border Management in the Republic of Moldova (EU Support Hub). The sixth operational meeting of the EU Support Hub is organized by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) in partnership with the Delegation of the European Union in the Republic of Moldova and the Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission (DG HOME).

Key European counter-terrorism experts and practitioners are attending the event, among whom Mr Ilkka Salmi, EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, Ms Erika Ferrer, Chair of the EU Council Counter-Terrorism Working Party, Mr Sayed Aly, on behalf of the Swedish Presidency of the Council, and Mr Martin Shieffer, Head of Unit for Counter-Terrorism at DG HOME.

Experts from 14 EU countries, together with representatives from Frontex, Europol and Cepol, are currently assessing how to implement the Roadmap of the Support Hub, given the worrying consequences of the war in Ukraine on cross-border crime and terrorism.

The Activity Report for the first six months and the Plan for the development and integration of the Hub into the European security ecosystem were approved two months ago during a meeting in Brussels, co-chaired by European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, and attended by 14 representatives of EU interior ministries. The main task of the Hub’s Working Groups focused on large arms and ammunition captures. Three weeks later, Romania reported a major seizure of 1,200 Stalker 9mm pistols. And this is just one of the cases of illicit arms trafficking, which happens in the proximity of our country, in an EU Member State and which has negative impact on the security of thousands of citizens of the Republic of Moldova, but also of the EU community.

The seizures of arms and ammunition in Europe, the involvement of people of different nationalities in arms smuggling, the increase in legislative fraud and illegal border crossings are directly linked to terrorism. At the same time, there are clear signals for the security expert community to review the risk indicators and standard operating procedures for such situations and to cooperate. Key security authorities from Germany, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Romania, Poland, Austria, Croatia, Malta, Spain, Latvia, Lithuania, France, Bulgaria and Italy analyse in depth phenomena that must not be neglected in the new European security architecture.

Sharing intelligence and expertise will help Moldova and the EU to better understand networks, money flows and common weaknesses of countries that allow criminals to cross borders undetected.

As Moldovan Minister of Internal Affairs Ana REVENCO said in her opening speech, no EU member country has currently the capacity to analyse 1,200 weapons in due time to ensure that no war criminal remains free and continues committing more illegalities until forensic analysis of the weapons is carried out in order to enforce the law.

I once again express my gratitude to EU Commissioner Ylva Johansson, the Czech, Swedish and Spanish Presidencies of the EU Council, who have understood from the very beginning that the EU and Moldova can join forces and expertise to make the European continent more resilient and provide all citizens with the safety and security they deserve and need. I thank H.E. Jānis MAŽEIKS for the continued support in strengthening our efforts for safety and security in Moldova, in the region, in Europe, said Minister Revenco.

The recently approved €40 million assistance provided through the European Peace Facility, the support to be provided through the EU Partnership Mission to Moldova (EUPM Moldova) and our fruitful collaboration in the field of home affairs are just some of the latest examples of how the European Union continues to support the Republic of Moldova in its efforts to build resilience and play an active role in the regional security. We will continue to work together in the spirit of Team Europe to deepen and strengthen our cooperation, stated Jānis MAŽEIKS, Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova.

The 2023 Agenda of the Support Hub includes the improvement of strategic analysis and forecasting capabilities in the field of security, by enhancing IT and information exchange between Moldovan and EU experts. The Hub also aims to create synergies and avoid duplication of spending on home affairs in Moldova and the EU.

On the platform one can follow the dynamics of the development and innovation activity in the field of home affairs and the cooperation of the Moldovan Ministry of Internal Affairs with the EU.