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Anti-terror fight Swiss support EU move to coordinate info systems

Simonetta Sommaruga

Swiss Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga attended the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council

(Keystone)

Swiss Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga has cautiously welcomed a proposal to link up countries’ information systems and better cooperation with the western Balkans as ways to fight terrorism.

Sommaruga made the comments at a meetingexternal link on Thursday of European Union interior ministers. Switzerland is not a member of the EU, but attends such meetings as a bilateral partner.

The EU wants to improve the searching and comparing of data available in EU information systems, known as “interoperability”.  The aim is to use this search machine to help “customs and justice authorities with their work” when dealing with criminals and terrorists,” a Swiss justice ministry statementexternal link said. For example, this should make it harder for terrorists to use multiple identities.

Sommaruga said she welcomed such an instrument and that Switzerland was interested in using this. “But it must bring added value,” she said, adding that these types of systems were expensive.

Cooperation with western Balkans

In terms of cooperation with the western Balkans – particularly in the domains of fighting crime like people trafficking and terrorism – Switzerland proposed “a network of police attachés from the different countries that are on site to be better used”, according to the statement. Switzerland has a police attaché in Belgrade and Pristina.

Switzerland also has a police cooperation accord with each of these countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia), she added. These aim to support the countries via Swiss expertise

SDA-ATS/ilj

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