§ Lord Tomlinson
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What was the outcome of the London Conference on Organised Crime in South-Eastern Europe held at Lancaster House on 25 November 2002. [HL0275]
§ Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean
A successful ministerial Conference on Organised Crime in South-Eastern Europe, hosted by the Home Secretary and the Foreign Secretary, was held on 25 November in Lancaster House.
Fifty-seven delegations including all EU member states and the European Commission attended as well as the five countries of the EU's Stabilisation and Association Process (SAP) and other countries from south-eastern Europe and beyond.
The conference noted that the serious impact of organised crime in the region is felt far beyond its borders, including the EU. The conference agreed a wide range of actions to tackle the problem effectively. The focus was on meeting European standards, building wide public support for the necessary measures, and improving regional co-operation.
Each of the countries of the region additionally announced a number of areas of priority action in the fight against organised crime. These actions are both specific and measurable.
The UK, in full co-operation with EU, international and regional partners will now work to ensure the implementation of these actions. The incoming Greek EU Presidency set out a series of specific actions against crime to be carried out in the first half of 2003. The Greek Presidency has called a summit meeting next June to review progress.
The conference was an important step forward in the effort to defeat organised crime in south-eastern Europe.